The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has urged Saudi Arabia to lift its blockade on Yemen.
The UNSC released a unanimous statement on Thursday, stressing that ships carrying food, fuel and other vital supplies must be permitted to enter ports in Yemen which is on the brink of famine.
The 15-member council said in its statement that there is "an urgent need for ongoing commercial supplies to enter Yemen as a humanitarian imperative."
Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the UN envoy for Yemen, had earlier called for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen, saying that some 21 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and one million people have been displaced in the fighting in the country.
“We are one step away from famine," the UN envoy said, adding, “We want to really find a way to lessen the suffering of the population.”
Saudi Arabia has imposed an aerial and naval blockade on Yemen amid its deadly airstrikes on the impoverished Arab country.
Yemenis search for survivors under the rubble of houses in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, on June 12, 2015 following an overnight airstrike by Saudi Arabia. ©AFP
"It's vital that we get commercial ships back in," said UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien.
The World Health Organization has also warned that more than 15 million people in Yemen do not have access to basic health services.
Saudi Arabia has been carrying out airstrikes against Yemen since March 26 without the authorization of the UN in an attempt to weaken Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and to restore power to the country’s fugitive former president and staunch ally of Riyadh, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.
The UN says at least 2,600 people have been killed and 11,000 others wounded due to the conflict in Yemen since March 19.