Saudi Arabia must stop blocking aid packages from reaching Yemen, President Trump demanded Wednesday, taking a rare shot at the ultraconservative USA ally.
Trump said in a statement Wednesday he has asked US officials "to call the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to request that they completely allow food, fuel, water, and medicine to reach the Yemeni people who desperately need it". Unable to defeat the loyalists of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, aided by Houthi rebels the Saudis claim are backed by Iran, the coalition has imposed a blockade on Yemen.
Seven million people are believed to be on the brink of starvation and a cholera outbreak has caused more than 2,000 deaths.
He was killed by his erstwhile Houthi allies on Monday, two days after announcing he was switching sides in the war to oppose them.
At least 14,000 people have been killed or wounded since the Saudi-led offensive began in March 2015.
Saleh's death occurred days after he publicly broke off his wartime alliance with the Houthis while indicating he was open to negotiations with the Saudi-led coalition. The U.S.is supporting the Saudi coalition with assistance including refueling planes carrying out airstrikes and sharing intelligence.
The ICRC has appealed for "bold measures" to provide life-saving care to civilians after the "unprecedented" escalation of fighting.
The United Nations said a food shortage caused by warring parties blocking supplies has created the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Saudi Arabia's intervention in Yemen's civil war has decimated the country's economy and infrastructure, and left millions at risk of starvation and reliant on humanitarian aid.
"Hospitals in Sanaa use fuel for generators that are their only source of electricity", said Iolanda Jacquemet, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross.
"The past month's escalation has killed thousands and condemned thousands more to die in the near future", Scott Paul, humanitarian policy lead at Oxfam America, said in a statement. "Millions will die in a historic starvation and public health crisis if President Trump's call is not heeded", Paul said in a statement.