Red Cross staff pulled out of Yemen amid security incidents and threats

Exclusive- Yemen peace plan sees ceasefire Houthis abandoning missiles

Col Al Malki said the coalition was working with global NGO partners to create conditions for them to work safely and freely in Yemen and was fully prepared to assist the ICRC to ensure the continuation of its operations in the country.

"In a prolonged worst case, we fear that as many as 250,000 people may lose everything - even their lives".

Warring sides in Yemen have increasingly used global aid workers as a "pawn" in the country's three-year civil war, the worldwide Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday after removing 71 employees from the country amid security concerns.

"We have received threats from all sides".

Dominik Stillhart, ICRC's director of operations, said that ICRC's staff activities have been "blocked, threatened and directly targeted in recent weeks, and we see a vigorous attempt to instrumentalize our organization as a pawn in the conflict".

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She added that after the withdrawal, ICRC counted a team of 452 staff members in the country, including Yemeni nationals.

The UN and aid agencies have warned against an offensive on the port, which could plunge Yemen into starvation.

"The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition reaffirms its commitment to facilitate the work of humanitarian aid employees of INGOs in the areas controlled by the legitimate government of Yemen, as well as the areas under control of the terrorist Iranian-Houthi militia", Spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki said. An ICRC employee, a Lebanese national, was killed on 21 April when an unknown gunman opened fire on the man's vehicle in the south-western city of Taiz.

Previous efforts to end the conflict, which according to the United Nations has killed more than 10,000 people, have failed.

Yemen, according to the United Nations, faces the world's worst humanitarian crisis and 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian aid, and 8.4 million are at risk of starvation, a number that will rise to 18 million this year if conditions do not improve. Malnutrition, cholera and other diseases have killed or sickened thousands of civilians over the years.

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