Hundreds of Thousands of Civilians in Hodeidah are at Grave Risk
A suspected cholera patient lies on a wooden bed in a hospital in Hodeida. 15 April 2017. (File photo: UN OCHA/Giles Clarke)
Sana’a, 21 June 2018 – A week after fighting began in the port city of Hodeidah, hundreds of thousands of civilians remain at serious risk. “We are deeply worried about the situation,” said Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen. “Even before the fighting began, conditions in Hodeidah were some of the worst in the country.”
Twenty-five percent of children in Hodeidah are suffering from acute malnutrition. If nutritional support from humanitarian partners is disrupted, it risks the lives of almost 100,000 children. Hodeidah was one of the epicentres of last year’s cholera outbreak, one of the worst in modern history.
“The level and degree of human suffering is heart-breaking,” said Ms. Grande. “Humanitarians have been on the ground distributing assistance throughout, and we will stay as long as conditions permit. We have been off-loading food at the port and we are rushing in as many emergency stocks as possible while we can. Partners have established ten humanitarian service points and are distributing food boxes and emergency kits to displaced families. We have prepositioned sufficient fuel to help operate water points, treatment plants and hospitals, and, every day we help to provide over 46 million litres of water. Eleven health teams have been dispatched to health facilities in Hodeidah.”
“Of all the things we are worried about, cholera is top of the list. It wouldn’t take much to start an unstoppable outbreak. If the water system in just one neighbourhood breaks down, and if nothing can be done to immediately address the situation, cholera could spread with lightning speed,” said Ms. Grande.
The United Nations considers Yemen the worst humanitarian crisis in the world and has called on all parties to the conflict to do everything possible to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, including the port of Hodeidah, which is the main entry point for humanitarian assistance into the country.
The UN and partners are requesting USD 3 billion through the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan to support 22.2 million people in need. To date, USD 1.5 billion, half of resources necessary for the year, has been received.