Catastrophic Consequences for Civilians in Yemen Should Port City of Hodeidah Come Under Attack

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (June 12, 2018) – Aid groups operating in Yemen are warning of catastrophic consequences of any further escalation of violence around the port city Hodeidah. According to credible reports, a possible attack of the city looks imminent and could, according to the United Nations, cost up to 250,000 lives.   

Casualties on all sides would be high with a devastating impact on the civilian population. Families and children will be at risk of being trapped or displaced, and there is a severe risk of an increase in diseases and a worsening shortage of food, including possible famine.

According to Save the Children, an estimated 100,000 children under five are suffering from extreme hunger in Hodeidah governorate alone. Should the vital port close and food imports decrease, tens of thousands of children could die.

Seventeen million people in Yemen are already food insecure, and Hodeidah governorate is already in a crisis. We are extremely concerned that Hodeidah will not only suffer gravely by the attack, but the population in a far wider area could experience food shortages on levels equivalent to famine as well, as the fighting could block the import of goods through the port altogether. 

In order to prevent high numbers of civilian casualties, mass displacement, possible famine-like conditions, as well as the breakdown of current efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths to set up new peace talks, we urge all parties to the conflict to stop any further military activities in and around Hodeidah city and the ports of Hodeidah and Saleef, which provide a lifeline to two-thirds of the Yemeni population. 

An attack on Hodeidah must be a red line and we call on all sides and the international community to find a peaceful solution to the war. The lives of Yemeni men, women and children are depending on it.  

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