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.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

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

CEOs in these countries are more likely to go with their gut

EU’s Mogherini visits Turkey “to step up engagement” and highlight interests

Parliament backs a modernised EU electoral law

EU-US resume trade negotiations under the spell of NSA surveillance

Syria: Civilians caught in crossfire, UN refugee chief urges Jordan to open its border

“China will strive to enhance the performance of economic growth”, President Xi highlights from the World Economic Forum 2017 in Davos

MARKUP initiative to boost market access to Europe for East African SMEs

TTIP 9th Round marked by American disappointment: Will some optimism save this trade agreement?

Cultural diversity can drive economies. Here are lessons from India and South Asia

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change and youth inaction: oblivion or nonchalance?”, AIESEC wonders from Brussels

The EU Commission implicates major banks in cartel cases, threatens with devastating fines

Biggest London City Banks ready to move core European operations to Frankfurt or Dublin?

Eurozone at risk of home-made deflation and recession

‘Path to peace’ on Korean Peninsula only possible through diplomacy and full denuclearization: US tells Security Council

Our present and future tax payments usurped by banks

Facebook-Cambridge Analytica: MEPs demand action to protect citizens’ privacy

Banks must take bold action to fight climate change. This is how they can do it

EU and India re-open talks over strategic partnership while prepare for a Free Trade Agreement

Somalia: UN urges steps to ensure future elections not ‘marred’ by rights abuses seen in recent polls

3 natural mysteries that could be explained by quantum physics

UN rights chief denounces Burundi for ‘belligerent and defamatory’ attack on inquiry team

Job automation risks vary widely across different regions within countries

Youth and children in Europe set the new perspectives for the decades to come

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “If we do not do properly the Paris agreement, then all 16 remaining goals will be undermined”, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon cautions from Davos

Nuclear non-proliferation treaty an ‘essential pillar’ of international peace, says UN chief

The G7 should take the lead on ocean targets for 2020

Court of Auditors: EU spending infested with errors well above the materiality threshold of 2%

“Only through energy policy we can trigger competitiveness”. The Sting live from #EBS2015: Energy Union – When will it happen?

The success story of a Chinese investment in the Greek port of Piraeus

Faith can overcome religious nationalism. Here’s how

A day in the life of a refugee: the role of nations and citizens of the world

Young people are not a nameless, faceless mass. So why do we treat them as such?

SPB TV @ MWC14: The TV of the Future

“None of our member states has the dimension to compete with China and the US, not even Germany!”, Head of EUREKA Pedro Nunes on another Sting Exclusive

The creative technology and its advancements

Finland must focus on integrating migrant women and their children to boost their contribution to the economy and society

G20 LIVE: “ISIL is the face of evil; our goal is to degrade and ultimately destroy this barbaric terrorist organisation”, US President Barack Obama cries out from Antalya Turkey

EU citizens disenchanted with Economic and Monetary Union over rising poverty and high unemployment

Hazy ‘breakthrough’ saves PM May, leaves Ireland in limbo: Brexit

India-UN fund gets 22 development projects off the ground in first year

More than one billion people do not have access to electricity. What will it take to get them connected?

The European Internet is not neutral and neither is the Commissioner

The impossible end of the war in Syria

New rules for audiovisual media services approved by Parliament

Facebook has built an AI-based tool that fixes the social network when it crashes

Merkel had it her way with the refugees & immigrants but can Greece and Turkey deliver?

MWC 2016 LIVE: T-Mobile US reveals 5G trial plans

Air quality: Commission takes action to protect citizens from air pollution

Digital distrust: We’re losing faith in technology to solve the world’s problems

What lies ahead for the Korean Peninsula?

Chauvinism and xenophobia will lead to global assertiveness and more wars

VW emissions scandal: While U.S. car owners are vindicated, Europe still unable to change its laws and protect its consumers

Can Greece’s devastating economy deal with the migration crisis?

UN Human Rights Council resolution on youth and human rights: a step forward for youth rights

A very good morning in European markets

The EU Commission lets money market funds continue the unholy game of banks

How wealthy people transmit this advantage to their children and grand children

UN chief welcomes agreement by rival leaders in South Sudan, as a step towards ‘inclusive and implementable’ peace

Ahead of State of the Union the European Youth Forum highlights lack of action on youth employment

What are the real targets of EU’s efforts to fight tax evasion?

More Stings?

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