SANAA Oct 18 The United Nations is hoping a
72-hour ceasefire in Yemen due to start on Wednesday will allow
vital aid to reach parts of the country that have been cut off
by months of fighting and are in dire humanitarian need.
A ceasefire between warring factions in Yemen will begin at
2359 local time (2059 GMT) on Wednesday, the UN said on Monday,
raising hopes of an end to a war in the Arab world's poorest
country that has killed thousands of civilians and left people
Aid agencies may try during the ceasefire to reach families
trapped in towns and villages where fighting - and a sea, air
and land blockade imposed by a Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting
in Yemen - has left people short of food and in need of vital
"Hopefully this nationwide cessation will provide
humanitarian agencies and organizations the opportunity to
respond in areas that have been cut off or are hard to reach in
all of Yemen," Jamie McGoldrick, the U.N.'s Yemen Humanitarian
Coordinator, told Reuters.
McGoldrick said he hoped the cessation of hostilities would
be extended and would herald a resumption of peace talks that
collapsed in August.
Saudi Arabia and several Gulf Arab allies have carried out
air strikes and deployed troops in Yemen in support of the
exiled Yemeni government which was toppled by the Iran-aligned
Houthis in 2015.
The Houthis and their allies, forces loyal to former
President Ali Abdullah Saleh, hold most of Yemen's northern
half, while forces loyal to the Saudi-backed Yemeni government
share control of the rest of the country with local tribes.
The 19-month conflict has excaberated Yemen's already urgent
humanitarian needs by increasing levels of malnutrition and
recruitment of child soldiers and damaging schools and
(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Tom Finn; Editing by