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Iran Press TV

Yemeni ports suffer losses of over $800mln due to Saudi-led aggression, naval blockade: Official

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 28 March 2020 3:20 PM

A high-ranking Yemeni maritime official has warned about the serious repercussions of the ongoing Saudi-led military campaign and naval blockade against the impoverished Arab country, saying the measures have led to a substantial drop in the number of container vessels docking at Yemen's ports along the strategic Red Sea.

The chairman of the Yemen Red Sea Ports Corporation, Captain Mohamed Abu Bakr Ishaq, told Yemeni Arabic-language al-Masirah television network on Saturday that the economic losses from the Saudi-led onslaught and siege stand at over 800 million dollars, emphasizing while 794 ships docked at Yemeni ports in 2014, only 191 moored at the ports in 2018 – marking the lowest figure ever recorded.

Ishaq noted that the volume of imports also declined from 6.64 million tons in 2014 to 3.5 million tons during the years of the blockade, and the volume of fuel imports has decreased by half.

He went on to say that the volume of exports from the ports shrank from 227,000 tons to 59,000 tons, marking a 75% decrease.

"Some 12 thousand employees and workers working at ports in the western Yemeni coastal province of Hudaydah have been either directly or indirectly affected by the consequences of the Saudi-led siege," Ishaq highlighted.

The senior Yemeni maritime official went on to say that the estimated losses are only those of the Yemen Red Sea Ports Corporation, and do not include the losses that the national economy, the private sector and relevant labor unions have sustained in the wake of the ongoing Saudi-led naval blockade.

Whilst Yemen can fulfill its own requirements of agricultural products, the flawed policies of the administration of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi have caused the country to largely depend on imports to meet domestic needs, and now it imports more than 90 percent of its food, Ishaq pointed out.

Additionally, the head of al-Hudaydah Port Union, Ali Rajeh, said some 3,400 people are working at Hudaydah port alone, and the siege has seriously affected their lives.

Rajeh stressed that the unjust siege is much deadlier than the bombs that Saudi-led warplanes drop on Yemeni cities and towns, adding that many port workers are not capable of providing basic meals for their families.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 100,000 lives over the past nearly five years.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have purchased billions of dollars' worth of weapons from the United States, France and the United Kingdom in the war on Yemen.

The Saudi-led coalition has been widely criticized for the high civilian death toll from its bombing campaign.

The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.

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