Humanitarian Coordinator: “Hundreds of thousands in Hodeidah are in critical danger”
SANA’A – Lise Grande, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, has sounded the alarm about the ever worsening situation in Yemen, during an open statement to media.
““Hundreds of thousands of lives hang in the balance in Hodeidah. The situation has deteriorated dramatically in the past few days. Families are absolutely terrified by the bombardment, shelling, and airstrikes”, she stated.
Clarifying on just how terribly dire the situation in Saudi-besieged Hodeidah truly is, the Coordinator continued:
“People are struggling to survive. More than 25 percent of children are malnourished; 900,000 people in the governorate are desperate for food, and 90,000 pregnant women are at enormous risk. Families need everything–food, cash, health care, water, sanitation, emergency supplies, specialized support, and many need shelter. It’s heart-breaking to see so many people who need so much.”
The port city of Hodeidah is the only major harbour in Yemen that is still under control of Yemeni forces, and as such serves as the major lifeline for at least 17 million Yemenis who live in liberated parts of the country. Most other major ports, such as the southern city of Aden, remain occupied by the Saudi-led military invaders, who so far have neglected to organise any efficient distribution of food or necessary products to the Yemeni population.
Around 70% of all humanitarian aid and almost all foodstuffs for northern Yemen passes through Hodeidah. Experts have accused the Saudi military coalition for targeting Hodeidah with the explicit purpose to cut off this lifeline and force Yemen into submission under threat of starvation, which would constitute a crime against humanity. Seemingly indiscriminate bombing raids by the Saudi Air Force have destroyed much of the province’s civilian infrastructure, often targeting civilian housing, farms and storage areas.
“The mills in Hodeidah feed millions of people. We’re particularly worried about the Red Sea mill, which currently has 45,000 metric tonnes of food inside, enough to feed 3.5 million people for a month. If the mills are damaged or disrupted, the human cost will be incalculable,” said Lise Grande. “So much has already been destroyed. In the last six weeks alone, houses, farms, livestock, businesses, roads, a water facility, and a flour mill have all been hit.”
“The human cost and the humanitarian impact of this conflict is unjustifiable. Parties to the conflict are obliged to do absolutely everything possible to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure and ensure people have access to the aid they are entitled to and need to survive,” the Humanitarian Coordinator concluded.