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US, UN Support Humanitarian Pause in Yemen

An elderly woman leaves a charity food assistance center after receiving her ration in Yemen's capital Sanaa, July 1, 2015.

The United States on Friday joined the United Nations in supporting an unconditional humanitarian pause by all parties to the conflict in Yemen.

“The humanitarian situation facing the Yemeni people is critical,” with 50-80 percent of the population in dire need of food of water, Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said in a statement.

A humanitarian pause is urgently needed to allow the UN and other international aid organizations to deliver the most needed life-saving food and medicine to citizens throughout Yemen, the statement continues.

The U.S. emphasizes that there is no military solution to the conflict in Yemen and fully supports the UN Special Envoy’s efforts to bring Yemeni parties in conflict to the table to find a path forward, the U.S. statement said.

The United Nations announced Thursday that the humanitarian pause in fighting will begin Friday July 10, at 11:59 p.m. local time through the end of the holy month of Ramadan, around July 17.

The pause is intended to provide a break in Saudi-led airstrikes and fighting with the Houthi militia that will allow aid to reach millions of Yemenis around the country.

The United Nations has repeatedly attempted to negotiate a cease-fire between the exiled government of internationally recognized President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi and the Houthi rebel group that overran the capital late last year.

The Saudi air campaign against the Houthis began in late March, pushing Yemenis to flee several major cities where fighting has been concentrated.

VOA'a Margaret Besheer contributed to this report.