THE United Nations and more than 20 humanitarian groups have condemned the blockade on airports, seaports and land crossings into Yemen put in place by the Saudi-led coalition. They say it could bring millions of people closer to “starvation and death”.

The groups, including CARE, Save the Children and Islamic Relief, said about two-thirds of Yemen’s population relies on imported supplies.

They said more than 20 million people need humanitarian assistance, including seven million facing “famine-like” conditions. Food supplies are set to run out within six weeks, and vaccines will last one month.

The military coalition tightened its blockade in Yemen this week after a ballistic missile fired by Houthi rebels was intercepted near the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock warned that if the blockade continued, Yemen would face “the largest famine the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims”.

After briefing the UN Security Council behind closed doors, he called for a resumption of air flights into Yemen for the United Nations and its humanitarian partners, and said there must be immediate access to all ports, especially for food, fuel, medicine and other essential supplies.