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Medical aid reached Yemeni port city after two weeks of war

More than two tonnes of medical aid was on board a boat that travelled from Djibouti to Aden, Doctors without Borders said
Yemeni kids waiting in a water queue with jerry cans in Aden, Yemen on 5 April, 2015 (AA)

A boat carrying medical aid docked Wednesday in Yemen’s southern city of Aden. It was the first aid to arrive after two weeks of a Saudi-led air campaign against the Houthi militia, Doctors without Borders (MSF) said.

The boat travelled from Djibouti and carried 2.5 tonnes of medical aid, Marie-Elisabeth Ingres, the head of MSF’s Yemen mission, told AFP.

“The shipment will be delivered to our hospital in Aden,” she said, adding that the group hoped aid destined for the capital and northern regions would arrive in Sanaa by air by Friday. The Red Cross is also hoping to deliver to Sanaa 16 tonnes of medical aid on a plane loaded in Jordan.

They confirmed that a surgical team had succeeded in docking at Aden's port today after waiting for ten hours in the sea.

MSF, who has 140 local staff and eight expatriates working at a hospital in Aden, warned on Tuesday that the situation in Aden was “worsening by the day” amid continued fighting between rebels and forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

The fighting has devastated areas in Aden, with water and electricity cut off in central neighbourhoods. Many people have been killed in the fighting, with hospitals struggling to cope with the casualties.

“Shops are closed, so people cannot get food, they cannot get water,” said Marie Clair Feghali, the spokeswoman of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Yemen.

“It’s nearly catastrophic,” she added.

Translation: After more than 10 hours at sea, our surgical team arrived safely to Aden in Yemen, which will begin its work in treating the wounded

Previously, Saudi Arabia, who is leading the campaign of airstrikes in the country, said they would only allow aid in “when we are able to set conditions [so] that this aid will benefit the population”.

“We don’t want to supply the militias,” Brigadier General Ahmed Assiri, spokesperson for the operation said on Sunday.

More than 643 people have died and 2,200 have been wounded since 19 March in Yemen, the World Health Organisation said.