On-the-record update on situation in Hodeida, Yemen:
- Fighting along Yemen’s west coast is closing-in on the port city of Hodeida.
- NRC staff in Hodeida report that the city is tense, amid media reports of airstrikes inside the city, most notably in the Al-Doraihimi District and the southern part of Hodeida governorate.
- UN OCHA reports that around 2,700 families have been displaced since the offensive started.
- The UN Humanitarian Coordinator has said that if Hodeida city is subjected to prolonged attack or siege, as many as 250,000 could lose everything – including their lives. And up to 350,000 people may be forced to flee their homes
- NRC has not evacuated our staff in Hodeida, but we continue to monitor the situation extremely closely.
- Initial estimates are that the most pressing needs in the city are food, clean water and hygiene kits to prevent the spread of cholera.
- Hodeidah port represents a lifeline for the vast majority of Yemenis. Yemen is almost totally reliant on imported food, medicine and fuel.
- Up to 80 percent of imports have historically reached the country through the Red Sea ports of Hodeida, Yemen’s main port. An attack on such critical infrastructure would have devastating impact on the survival of a population already pushed to their limits.
The Norwegian Refugee Council’s Country Director in Yemen, Mohamed Abdi said:
“Hodeida port is no less than Yemen’s lifeline. Yemen is almost totally reliant on imported food, medicine and fuel, up to 80 percent of which historically reached the country through Hodeida. An attack on the port would damage pivotal food and fuel pipeline for millions, risking deepening Yemen’s already acute food and health crisis”
“The UK government has warned aid agencies that it has received information from Coalition forces that the city will be attacked in the coming days. Any attack will have catastrophic consequences for civilians – risking hundreds of thousands of lives. We call on all parties to the conflict to refrain from any further military activities in and around Hodeida city.”
“We urge the US, UK and France – as those country that can influence the Coalition - to immediately issue a clear and unequivocal warning against an attack on Hodeida city or port. These countries, working closely with the UN Special Envoy, have a critical role to play to prevent further suffering in Yemen, which is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”
NRC operations in Hodeida:
NRC is present in Hodeida with lifesaving activities that include distributing food, water and hygiene items. NRC also provides unconditional cash transfers to families which allows them the freedom to buy what they need the most. NRC works with local authorities to provide solid waste management in order to prevent cholera.
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