Update on the situation in Hodeida, Yemen, 16 June 2018

Report
from Norwegian Refugee Council
Published on 16 Jun 2018

. Clashes are continuing just south of Hodeidah city during the Eid al-Fitr festival, one of the most important religious holidays for Muslims. Many people in Hodeidah left their homes yesterday to go to Mosque or visit friends and family, but many are frightened to move far from their homes.

· Fighting is ongoing in several locations near the city's southern outskirts, where Ansar Allah troops are holding a line close to Hodeidah airport. Frontlines elsewhere have shifted inland in response to heavy coalition airstrikes.

· Many residents of Hodeidah with family elsewhere in the country, or the resources to leave, have done so for the Eid break and are very unlikely to return while the situation remains fragile. Humanitarian agencies cannot currently access areas south of the city where people are most likely to have been injured, affected and displaced, leaving us without a clear picture of needs.

· Humanitarian agencies have had to pause almost all operations in Hodeidah city, where clashes along the border between the Ad Durayhimi and Al Hawak districts approach highly-populated residential areas.

· NRC is delivering cholera prevention and response activities in Al Hawak district but movements to the area have stopped pending a break in the fighting.

· Though humanitarian agencies are pre-positioning bulk supplies across nine service points across Hodeidah, unpredictable frontlines and a lack of safe access passages currently puts Yemeni people at risk when trying to move to access them.

· While Hodeidah Port remains open, with six vessels at berth and four waiting offshore at anchorage, the latter figure is 75 per cent lower than at the same time in mid-May.

· As fewer goods reach the port and movement inland is slowed or stopped altogether, there will be less food available in markets across the country.

· NRC and other humanitarian organisations have teams working in various locations to urgently procure supplies and drastically upscale their provision of emergency food, shelter, water and hygiene items across all areas that will be affected by the reduction in imports.

The Norwegian Refugee Council's Office Coordinator in Hodeidah, Saleem Al -Shamiri said from Sana'a:

"I have close family in Hodeidah now who are telling me the situation is getting scarier. People feel more tension with every day that passes, wondering what will happen tomorrow, or next week, or in a few minutes. Eid should be a peaceful and happy time for us to spend with our families, not a period of waiting to know whether your house will be hit when fighting reaches the city."

"I am deeply worried about people who fled to Hodeidah city because their homes were under attack in other areas. Tens of thousands of people came with nothing and are now left to fend for themselves until we can get to them with food and clean water. These are my fellow Yemenis, my neighbours and colleagues. They need help, but what they need most is a guarantee they will be safe."

"Wars are unpredictable, and we are worried about everything. We urge the fighting parties to protect the port and the roads that lead from it so that food and medicine can still reach those who need it, and people in Hodeidah can escape if they need to."

Facts:

· 29.3 million individuals live in Yemen
· 3.32 million individuals live in Hodeidah governorate
· 104,292 individuals are displaced in Hodeidah.
· 70,000 individuals have been displaced from Hodeidah since 1stDecember, 2017
· 162,540 individuals or nearly 15 per cent of the population are suspected to have cholera
· 2.7 million individuals are in need of humanitarian assistance

For interviews or more information, please contact:

NRC's media hotline, info@nrc.no, +4790562329