Joint INGO statement on escalation of fighting in Hodeidah
International non-government organisations (INGOs) in Yemen are appalled by the renewed increase in intensity of hostilities in and around Hodeidah city. After calls for a ceasefire by the international community only a matter of days ago this is a deeply disturbing development. All parties to the conflict must immediately stop the violence considering the catastrophic impact of this fighting on the civilians of Hodeidah and across Yemen.
Civilian infrastructure and housing is being occupied by armed forces, and health facilities have come under major threat, not only endangering the lives of staff and patients but further limiting the accessibility of health services. The use of civilians as human shields is a major breach of International Humanitarian Law calling for immediate investigation.
Most routes out of Hodeidah are now blocked by fighting, severely impeding humanitarian agencies’ ability to transport aid and supplies to those in need across Yemen, and preventing residents from fleeing to safety. Over 70% of the country’s supplies come through Hodeidah and it is crucial that these routes are kept open to ensure the safe passage of aid to the millions who depend upon it for their survival.
As an urgent priority, civilians and children in particular in and around Hodeidah must be protected from the direct and indirect impact of the fighting. We call for an immediate end to the current hostilities and urge parties to the conflict to engage with peace talks led by the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths. We call on the UN Security Council to adopt an unequivocal Resolution allowing the Special Envoy to put a stop to this violence and to the suffering of the countless millions who have already lost their lives and livelihoods.