Yemen: Some 200,000 civilians suffer under Houthi siege in Taiz
July 3, Sanaa: More than 200,000 Yemeni civilians have been caught up in the fighting Taiz, the second largest city in the country.
For almost 15 months, Houthi rebels have besieged the city, only allowing life-saving aid deliveries to enter once every three months. The city has also become one of the major front lines in the battle for control of Yemen.
For months, aid agencies have warned of a major humanitarian disaster in the city. There are frequent reports of dire food and water shortages, and of hospitals struggling to function without access to fresh medical supplies, reports said.
At least 37 of the city's 40 hospitals and medical institutions have been forced to close, and the doctors and nurses that are brave enough to remain are forced to operate without essentials such oxygen - which doctors require to put patients under general anesthesia.
Houthi fighters have repeatedly prevented aid groups from delivering medical supplies to the city, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis. And with observant Muslims refraining from eating or drinking from dawn to dusk during the holy month of Ramadan, many households are running low on food, medicine, and other necessities, Al Jazeera reported.
When aid does finally reach the city, residents are having to queue under the baking sun where temperatures often exceed 40C to get their share.
And while water tankers visit some areas of the city once a week, buying blocks of ice has become the only way to prevent what little food people the people of Taiz have from going bad. The city has been without electricity for more than a year.
The Oslo Times International News Network