14 Sept 2018 – An increase in airstrikes in Hodeidah is instilling fear and terror in residents, many of whom are being forced to flee and leave their homes behind. As well as this widespread displacement, the airstrikes could have a disastrous impact on the port of Hodeidah, a vital life-line for supplies into Yemen for the 22 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Transportation is already being affected: the main road linking Hodeidah and the capital Sana’a has been closed for several days, with trucks carrying food forced to take different routes across the country.
“We are horrified by the latest developments in Hodeidah,” said Johan Mooij, CARE International Country Director in Yemen. “Besides more displacement, there is again a real danger that the port could be closed. There is currently only enough food in Yemen to sustain the population for two to three months, and it is the most vulnerable – especially women and children – who will be hit the hardest.”
Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and this latest development in the conflict is a setback for the fledgling peace process initiated by the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths. The UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen Lise Grande said on Thursday: “The human cost and the humanitarian impact of this conflict is unjustifiable.”
“CARE implores all parties to the conflict to end the violence and to ensure the protection of civilians,” said Mooij. “At a time when cholera cases are sharply on the rise, many thousands have already died from disease and hunger, and the Yemeni rial has lost almost a quarter of its value, this is absolutely the last thing the Yemeni people need. There must be an immediate end to this violence in and around Hodeidah.”
CARE has worked in Yemen since 1992 and is one of few international aid agencies continuing to deliver humanitarian services under extremely challenging circumstances. CARE focuses on ensuring people in the hardest-hit and most hard-to-reach areas have access to emergency supplies and assistance with meeting their basic needs.
- “Every day the noise gets louder and more terrifying. At night we hear a warning whistle telling us that we shouldn’t go out of the house. It’s a feeling that I can’t describe. I am very scared and worried for my children. I sleep cuddling my two-year-old daughter tightly and my two sons sleep next to us. It is a nightmare that is not coming to an end.” Najwa,* 35 years old
- “The sounds of the airstrikes are horrifying. We want to leave but the road to Sana’a is closed. I feel like I’m suffocating. My children keep crying and it is very hot and I don’t know what to do. I cried yesterday with my children. I feel helpless. I can’t do anything.” Sameera,* 28 years old
*Names have been changed
Alex Hilliard – Policy, Communication & Information Coordinator, CARE Yemen
Tel. +962797197935 (Jordan)
Email: [email protected]
Learn more about CARE's work in Yemen.