An Egyptian Coptic Christian family that was trapped in Taiz, Yemen has returned safely to Cairo Wednesday after coordination between diplomats in Yemen and officials at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.
Taiz has been under siege since November 2015, which left thousands of citizens with worsening life conditions as conflict emerges in Yemen between Saudi Arabia-led coalitions and Houthi rebels.
The coptic family has been trapped in the city and said they have been through extremely tough conditions on their way back to the capital of Yemen, Sanaa, and then to Cairo. However, they told state news agency MENA that they were delighted to arrive back, especially to spend the coptic holiday at home.
The siege also sparked wider concerns; the World Health Organisation (WHO) said in an official statement Thursday that more than 250,000 people have been affected by the siege. All of the city’s six hospitals have been forced to partially close some services and are overwhelmed with injured patients, additionally humanitarian organisations that are struggling to deliver medical and surgical supplies due to the insecurity.
Five WHO trucks carrying medicines and medical supplies have been prevented from entering the city since 14 December 2015, according to the statement. Three of the trucks were carrying 500 cylinders of oxygen that are critically needed by the hospitals. WHO also called on all parties involved in the conflict to “allow the secure movement and delivery of medical and humanitarian aid to all people, regardless of their location”.
Since a Saudi-led military coalition launched strikes against Houthi-held positions last March, nearly 5,700 people have been killed, many of them often civilians. The Saudi coalition is aiming to defeat the rebel army of Yemen’s Shi’a Houthi community and restore Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi’s government.