Monday, 11 June 2018 – INGOs in Yemen today warned that any further escalation of violence around the port city Hodeidah could have catastrophic consequences. Humanitarian organizations fear an imminent attack on the city given developments on the ground over recent weeks.
If an attack does take place, it is likely to have a catastrophic impact on the civilian population as large parts of the Yemeni population will be at risk of displacement, disease and worsening food insecurity, including possible famine. Food imports have already reached the lowest levels since the conflict started and the price of basic commodities has risen by a third. Seventeen million people in Yemen are already food insecure, and Hodeidah governorate is already in crisis.1 People’s coping mechanisms are exhausted.
We are gravely concerned that in the absence of commercial imports in case of an attack on the port for any length of time, parts of the population could experience famine.2 As the UN Humanitarian Coordinator Lise Grande said “as many as 250,000 people may lose everything— even their lives,”3 if there is a military attack on Hodeidah port.
In order to prevent thousands of civilian casualties, mass displacement, and possible famine, as well as the breakdown of current peace efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, we urge all parties to the conflict to refrain from any further military activities in and around Hodeidah city and the ports of Hodeidah and Saleef. Both ports provide the lifeline to around two thirds of the Yemeni population.
We call on all parties to the conflict to immediately cease violence, keep the ports of Hodeidah and Saleef open and fully functional, and uphold their obligations under International Humanitarian Law to protect the civilian population from the worst impacts of the violence.
Action contre la Faim
Danish Refugee Council
International Medical Corps
International Rescue Committee
Medecins du Monde
Première Urgence – Aide Médicale Internationale
Save the Children
War Child UK
— the field