On-the-record update on situation in Hodeidah, Yemen (11 October 2018)
Quote from NRC staff member in Hodeidah:
"People here are suffering from a fuel crisis, they have no income, no medicine and no electricity in their houses. Jets hover for long hours, especially at night. It's so scary. We can hear clashes – guns and exploding mortar on one side and airstrikes shake our whole building. It is so stressful and incredibly frightening."
Quote from a Yemeni father whose whole village fled their homes last month:
"The nearest clinic is 20 miles away, but we have no way to pay for transport. If someone here gets sick, they will probably die," the man said. He lives with his wife and children in a tented camp in Abs, Hajjah, and told NRC staff that his community has no way of meeting increasing transport costs.
Hodeidah city and surrounding districts have been hit by heavy strikes through the week. Civilians in Hodeidah describe a notable increase in airstrikes and frequent, low-hovering fighter jets over the city. Frontlines along the city's edges have not changed significantly in recent days.
One civilian in Hodeidah described the situation as "Frustrating and frightening. Their objective is just to frighten us. My whole building was shaking when they dropped bombs on Monday night."
Data from the Civilian Impact Monitoring Project indicates that 284 civilians were killed by violence in Hodeidah through August and September, an increase of 196 from June and July.
Worsening economic crisis across Yemen is propelling food prices upward while the value of the Yemeni riyal plummets. The cost of a minimum food basket comprised of wheat flour, dry beans, oil, sugar and salt for seven people has increased by 25 per cent in just three weeks, and 142 per cent since the beginning of the war. Even very slight increases in food costs could now tip hundreds of thousands of severely food insecure Yemenis into famine.
Fuel supplies have dwindled across Yemen, with many suppliers suspending sales due to a lack of stock. The shortage on fuel has caused prices to double in recent weeks, straining meagre financial resources for hospitals that rely on generators to power medical equipment and lighting.
While one road from Hodeidah to Yemen's highly-populated inland areas remains open, fuel supplies coming through the port remain insufficient. Less than 9 per cent of the fuel required to come through Hodeidah port to meet needs in Yemen has been delivered so far in October. This is contributing to shortages and related price hikes.
The latest updated number of suspected cholera cases identified across Yemen was reported at 14,047, up from 2,597 suspected cases in June. This is a 541 per cent increase in suspected cases in less than three months.
Note to editors:
- Cases and photos from families displaced from Hodeidah are available here:
- Photos taken in Hodeidah since the offensive are available here.
- Some 3.3 million people lived in Hodeidah governorate prior to June 2018, an estimated 600,000 in Hodeidah city. Some 29.3 million people live in Yemen.
- About 2.7 million people need aid across the country.
- Some 162,000 suspected cases of cholera have been identified in Hodeidah since April 2017 - 15 per cent of Yemen's total cholera caseload.
- NRC continues to operate across nine governorates in Yemen, delivering assistance with food, safe water, shelter, education and legal assistance to people displaced by violence.
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