UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations on Thursday announced that it will set up an inspection regime to increase the flow of goods into Yemen, where the humanitarian situation has been deteriorating due to a Saudi-led coalition’s military campaign against Houthi rebels.
“The United Nations, the Yemeni government and the coalition have now reached agreement on the (inspection) mechanism,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters. “The U.N. Verification and Inspection Mission, UNVIM, is now being established.”
The point of the mechanism, which he said the Saudi-led coalition has accepted, is to “increase the flow of commercial goods into Yemen by sea.” He added that only commercial imports would be subject to inspection.
“Shipments from U.N. humanitarian organizations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Organization for Migration will not be subject to verification,” Dujarric said.
He added that the United Nations was now looking to fund UNVIM and that all U.N. member states were welcome to contribute.
A civil war in Yemen escalated in March when a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia intervened to roll back the hold of Iran-allied Houthi militia over much of the country and to reinstate the exiled government.
Reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Jonathan Oatis