The large-scale military offensive on the key Yemeni port of Hodeidah will have a catastrophic impact on the hundreds of thousands of people in the city, international aid organisation CARE has warned.
Jolien Veldwijk, CARE’s Acting Country Director in Yemen, said the bombardments were already impacting families.
“We have already had more than 30 airstrikes within 30 minutes around the city. Some civilians are trapped, others forced from their homes. We thought the situation in Yemen could not get any worse, but unfortunately we were wrong,” she said.
“The attack on Hodeidah, as the main point of entry for aid in the country, will multiply horror and death in Yemen.”
According to the UN, more than a quarter of a million people in Hodeidah could lose their lives, or their possessions. More than 10,000 people have already died in Yemen’s civil war, which has been described as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. More than 22 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection, with more than 8 million people already facing the risk of starvation.
“This attack will put more people at risk of dying, and will cut the lifeline of food to millions of Yemenis. Food imports had already reached the lowest levels since the conflict started and the price of basic commodities has risen by a third. We are gravely concerned that parts of the population will experience famine,” Ms Veldwijk said.
“We urge all parties to refrain from any further military activities in and around Hodeidah city and the port. People are already exhausted, starving, and have no means to cope with any further escalation of war.”
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 works in Hodeidah governorate to support people with access to safe water and increased food security. To donate to CARE Australia’s work in Yemen, got to care.org.au/yemen.
To arrange interviews with staff in Yemen, please contact CARE Australia Media Advisors.