Halting operations at the crucial Hodeidah port would have an enormous impact on people all across Yemen, humanitarian agencies have warned, urging the warring parties to spare innocent lives in their battle for the Red Sea city.
“Hodeidah is a lifeline for millions of Yemenis,” Iolanda Jaquemet, a spokeswoman from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), told RT. “The assault risks exacerbating an already catastrophic situation... Should this aid not be able to flow into this port, it will put at risk millions of lives.”
At dawn on Wednesday, the Saudi-led Arab coalition began the long-anticipated ground, naval, and air campaign against Houthi rebels in Hodeidah, trying to recapture the strategic port. After the first day of fighting, the coalition failed to capture the Red Sea city or to take possession of its airport. Despite the fighting, the port continues to operate, management of the port said, while the UN confirmed an aid delivery on Wednesday.
— WFP Middle East (@WFP_MENA) June 13, 2018
Shutting down the operations of the “main lifeline for the population in Yemen,” which receives approximately 80 percent of all Yemeni imports, including the bulk of humanitarian goods, will have “huge humanitarian implications,” Joao Martins, head of the Doctors without Borders (MSF) mission in Yemen, told RT.
“The hampering of the function of the seaport will for sure have an impact on the population's living conditions and the capacity for them to cope with the current crisis,” he added.'
Read more: ‘Millions of lives at risk’: Humanitarian groups urge Saudi-led coalition to spare Yemeni civilians