Yemen nears ‘total collapse’ as country cut off from aid deliveries

Huge plumes of smoke rise above buildings during airstrikes allegedly carried out by the Saudi-led alliance on a weapons storage depot in Sana’a, Yemen Photo: EPA/JABER GHURAB

The United Nations said Yemen was nearing “total collapse” on Tuesday as airstrikes and fierce street fighting deepened the country’s humanitarian crisis.

“The situation in Yemen is extremely alarming, with dozens of civilians killed over the past four days,” Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement. “The country seems to be on the verge of total collapse.”

A Saudi-led military coalition has been pounding rebel positions in Yemen since last Wednesday night in an attempt to halt their march across the country.

Aid agencies said on Tuesday that the closure of air and sea ports was preventing the delivery of emergency aid. At least 93 civilians have been killed and 364 wounded across five Yemeni cities in as many days, according to UN figures.

The Red Cross has called for help negotiating safe passage for an aid shipment carrying enough medical supplies to treat at least 700 people. The organisation said one of its local aid workers was shot dead on Monday evacuating wounded residents in south Yemen…