Red Cross flies first medical aid into Yemen capital
SANAA - Agence France-Presse
People load an aircraft with emergency aid from the International Committee of the Red Cross prior to its departure to Yemen on April 9, 2015 at the airport in Liege. AFP PhotoThe Red Cross said it flew an aircraft into Sanaa on April 10, delivering its first medical aid to Yemen's capital since a Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes against Shiite rebels.
"This is the first ICRC plane to have landed in Sanaa. It is loaded with 16 tonnes of medical aid," said Marie Claire Feghali, spokeswoman in Yemen for the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The shipment was made up of "drugs and surgical instruments," the spokeswoman said via telephone from Sanaa airport after the arrival of the plane.
"Tomorrow, a second plane will be carrying 32 tonnes of medical supplies, generators and water purification equipment for hospitals in Sanaa," she added.
On April 8, a Red Cross boat carrying medical aid and personnel docked at Yemen's southern city of Aden, the main battleground in the conflict between forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and the Iran-backed Huthi rebels.
On board was a team of five medics from Doctors Without Borders (MSF), according to the head of MSF in Yemen, Marie-Elisabeth Ingres.
Ingres said at the time that another boat travelling from Djibouti and carrying 2.5 tonnes of medical aid had reached Aden, the first aid delivered since the Saudi-led coalition launched its strikes on March 26.
The Red Cross has been appealing for an immediate truce to facilitate aid deliveries.
It has called for land, air and sea routes to be opened to allow delivery of 48 tonnes of medical supplies it has ready to treat up to 3,000 wounded.