Statement by Erin Hutchinson, the Norwegian Refugee Council's Country Director in Yemen, on the resumption today of commercial flights from Sana’a:
"The take-off of the first commercial flight from Sana'a airport in almost six years is a stepping stone towards a lasting peace for Yemen.
“The long overdue reopening of the airport was one of the major objectives of the truce. If the parties to the conflict continue to work together to operate regular flights in and out of Sana’a, they can help save thousands of lives, prevent premature deaths, and support the country’s economy. Yemenis will enjoy greater freedom of movement, and it will be quicker, easier, and cheaper to bring goods and aid into the country.
"We applaud the parties to the conflict for working to find common ground that benefits the wellbeing of the Yemeni people and urge them to urgently meet other elements of the truce, like opening the roads in Taiz and other governorates. The truce must be extended to meet these commitments, and to prevent further loss of life."
Notes to editors :
- The truce agreement is the first nationwide truce agreed since 2016 in Yemen.
- The terms of the two-months truce include facilitating the entry of fuel ships into the ports of Hudaydah, allowing two commercial flights a week to and from Sana’a airport, and convening a meeting between the parties to agree on opening roads in Taiz and elsewhere.
- 23.4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance across Yemen this year.
- Sana’a airport previously hosted as many as 6,000 passengers a day, and more than 2 million passengers every year.
- The country’s economy used to benefit from the income made from passengers travelling through the airport and goods transported through it. When the airport closed, many people lost their jobs and companies and suppliers providing services to the airport closed down or suffered economic losses.
Photos from the airport from 2021 are available here: https://nrc.smugmug.com/Country-Programmes/Yemen/2021-Yemen/Photos-of-Sanaa-airport-31-October-2021/n-zgv6Ms/i-226Xbfr
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