Assault on key Yemeni port would endanger 300,000 children and ‘choke off’ aid for millions more: UNICEF chief

OCHA/Giles Clarke
The port in the city of Hodeidah is a major lifeline for Yemen, bringing in food and humanitarian assistance. These cranes have been out of service since mid-2015, with little hope of repair anytime soon. (file)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Any attack on the key Yemeni port of Hodeida would deepen one of the world’s worst malnutrition crises and put the lives of an estimated 300,000 children at risk, said the head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday.

UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, said that she was “extremely concerned” about continuing reports that forces from the United Arab Emirates which are part of a Saudi-led coalition battling Houthi rebels who currently control Hodeida, are planning an imminent attack to recapture the city.

Conflict has escalated between the two sides since 2015, leaving around 75 per cent of Yemenis in need, including around 11 million children.

On Monday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, told reporters in New York that “intense negotiations” involving his Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, were taking place, which it was hoped could prevent military confrontation. “I hope that it will be possible to avoid a battle for Hodeidah,” said the UN chief.

Also speaking on Monday, UN relief chief Mark Lowcock told correspondents at UN Headquarters that “dozens of UN staff” were still in the city. “While the UN and other humanitarian organizations are reconfiguring their presence, it is also our plan, intention and hope, to stay and deliver. We have dozens of staff still in Hodeidah,” he added.

“Ninety per cent of the food and medicines that are consumed in Yemen are imported and seventy per cent of those imports go through Hodeida. Seven million people are completely reliant every month on food, and more than 7 million on other assistance, from humanitarian organizations,” said Mr. Lowcock, who is also UN Humanitarian Coordinator.

He said that if the port were to close for any period of time, or “not to operate effectively, the consequences in humanitarian terms would be catastrophic”.

In her statement, Ms. Fore said that apart from the 300,000 at risk in the city itself, “millions more children throughout Yemen depend on the humanitarian and commercial goods that come through that port every day for their very survival.”

“Without fuel, critical for water pumping, people’s access to drinking water will shrink further, leading to even more cases of acute watery diarrhoea and cholera, both of which can be deadly for small children,” she added.

She urged all parties to the conflict “and all those who have influence over them, to put the protection of children above all other considerations” before concluding that: “Peace should be given a chance. The children of Yemen deserve nothing less.”

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

‘Ghost fishing’ is threatening our oceans. Here’s how we can tackle it

Realise the beauty of unity in diversity

How powering food storage could end hunger

MWC 2016 LIVE: 5G to embrace unlicensed bands and Wi-Fi

99 per cent of intravenous drug users lack access to health, ‘social services with dignity’ says UNAIDS chief

Parliament approves €500 million for schooling of refugee children in Turkey

Germany’s strong anti-bribery enforcement against individuals needs to be matched by comparably strong enforcement against companies

We need to change the fast fashion model. Here’s how

5 surprising ways major cities are going green

Central African Republic: UNICEF outlines key actions so fresh peace deal can make real difference for children

How AI is bringing the ‘dark matter of nutrition’ to light, unlocking the power of plants

Summer pause gives time to rethink Eurozone’s problems

Africa: Urgent action needed to mobilise domestic resources as tax revenues plateau

Fairer food supply chain: Agriculture MEPs clamp down on unfair trading

Japan should reform retirement policies to meet challenge of ageing workforce

German egotistic inward turn to badly hurt Europe after Merkel’s exit

5 things to know about the Western Balkans

Amsterdam is getting a 3D-printed bridge

Asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic, symptomatic: what is the difference?

Is poor generational intelligence holding you back at work?

Rule of Law: The Commission opens a debate to strengthen the rule of law in the EU

All for equality – 2020 is a pivotal year for Gender Equality

Antitrust: Commission fines Google €1.49 billion for abusive practices in online advertising

Alexis Tsipras ready to test Eurozone’s political sturdiness; Up to what point?

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Carbon Price Needed for Climate Change Success

A ship with containers at the port of Rotterdam. (Copyright: European Union. Source: EC - Audiovisual Service. Photo: Robert Meerding)

US follows the EU in impeding China market economy status in WTO

Germany resists Macron’s plan for closer and more cohesive Eurozone; Paris and Berlin at odds

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s speech from World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of New Champions

COVID-19: What the evidence so far means for containment

Questions and answers: Commission proposes SURE, a new temporary instrument worth up to €100 billion to help protect jobs and people in work

Youth2030: UN chief launches bold new strategy for young people ‘to lead’

TTIP: why it is worth not to pull the covers over your head?

Will the Greek economy ever come back to growth?

5 ways to be a better humanitarian

G20 LIVE: “Re-envisioning the economy to enable women to reach their full potential” live from Antalya Turkey

Universal basic income is the answer to the inequalities exposed by COVID-19

To build the workforce of the future, we need to revolutionize how we learn

Why the Fourth Industrial Revolution could spell more jobs – not fewer

UN human rights ruling could boost climate change asylum claims

MWC19 Wrap Up, in association with The European Sting, GSMA’s Brussels Media Partner for the 6th Consecutive Year

Parliament wants binding rules on common chargers to be tabled by summer

Do you dare to go to China?

Cholera surges, children in urgent need one month after Cyclone Idai slammed southern Africa – UNICEF

Juncker Plan exceeds original €315 billion investment target

Scotland in United Kingdom: It’s either the end or the beginning of the end

“Smoking steam instead of tobacco, are the E-cigarettes a safer alternative?”

Now is the time to seize ‘unprecedented opportunity’ of the Sustainable Development Forum, says ECOSOC President

Trade marks: Commission decides to refer Romania to the Court of Justice for not transposing the Trade Mark Directive

What are the greatest global health threats?

5 things you might not know about Leonardo da Vinci

COVID-19: EU co-finances the delivery of more protective equipment to China

Delhi Declaration: Countries agree to make ‘land degradation neutrality’ by 2030, a national target for action

Why do humanitarian crises disproportionately affect women?

Do men and women really have different leadership styles?

A silent killer: the impact of a changing climate on health

Step up action to protect the planet during wartime: UN environment chief

Silk Road Unlimited

You will be eating replacement meats within 20 years. Here’s why

These are New York Public Library’s 10 most borrowed books

An ECB banker wants to change the European social model

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s