(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Muscat- The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) is exploring the possibility of using the land route via the wilayat of Al Mazyouna in Dhofar to deliver crucial food aid to Yemen.
Amer R Melhem, head of ICRC office in Muscat said, 'Our team in Salalah is evaluating the possibility of using the Al Mazyouna crossing point between Oman and Yemen. The feasibility of this option is to be assessed in the coming weeks. Our main concern is the safe passage of the trucks carrying humanitarian goods to their final destination.'
Melhem said that since the beginning of this year no shipment has been dispatched to Yemen. In December, some aid was dispatched via Salalah port to Hodeidah. However, due to the situation in Hodeidah, the ship was diverted to Aden for unloading of goods. 'We used to dispatch aid to Aden and Hodeidah in Yemen. However, the fight escalated in Hodeidah and there were concerns that aid won't be able to reach the port city.'
Commenting on the functionality/operations of ports in Yemen, Jens Laerke, deputy spokesperson United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said, 'Direct conflict damages, significant delays are being experienced in all ports of Yemen. Port of Hodeidah which was the main point of entry into Yemen is working at below capacity due to commercial import restriction and damage sustained by airstrikes which destroyed unloading cranes leading to terrible humanitarian situation in Yemen.
'On the other hand, the Aden Port does not have the required capacity or infrastructure to handle import demand.' This has placed Oman in a position to play a critical role in providing the help. Mohammed al Mashani, general manager, Corporate Affairs, Port of Salalah said, 'Oman is playing a critical role and Port of Salalah can even play a bigger role as we have capacity to handle bigger shipments. We are ready to support anyone that needs our help either international organisations or businessmen to get supplies to Yemen using Port of Salalah.
'Traders and businessmen are now routing non-perishable foodstuff through land routes. The foodstuff comes to Port of Salalah and is transported to Al Mazyouna and finally to Yemen. This has increased year-on-year since 2015.'
Since the ICRC logistics hub was established in Oman in early 2015, it has received contributions from the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Kuwait, Iran, Germany and Bahrain. The remaining donations came from the International Federation of Red Cross, Red Crescent Societies and the ICRC regional warehouses.