I. Situation Overview
FIGHTING ESCALATES IN AL HUDAYDAH
The conflict in Al Hudaydah Governorate has escalated further as renewed fighting has moved closer to Al Hudaydah City. On 12 September, armed clashes reached the main Al Hudaydah-Sana’a road effectively closing the eastern route to the city which became too risky to use as a result of fighting. Hotspots of fighting and violence are areas east of Kilo 16, areas in the vicinity of the airport and coastal areas to the west towards the Red Sea.
Al-Hudaydah port and Saleef port, to the north of the city, remain open and operational. They are critical to the supply of food and other humanitarian assistance to the capital Sana’a and other regions in northern Yemen; the majority of commercial food imports are shipped through the ports. Significant quantities of relief supplies are stored in humanitarian warehouses in Al Hudaydah, including in the Red Sea Mills, in the vicinity of Kilo 10. The Red Sea Mills, which contain 45,000 MT of food commodities, enough to feed 3.5 million people for a month, have become inaccessible due to the ongoing hostilities. Several humanitarian organisations have offices in the same area and are concerned about the safety of their staff and premises.
Humanitarian organisations have repeatedly appealed to all parties to the conflict to ensure a sustainable flow of food and fuel from the Red Sea ports to the population in the northern governorates. Any interruption to the food supply chain will result in mass starvation for thousands of families. A joint statement by INGOs on 14 September indicated that if the ports or the roads between Al-Hudaydah and Sana’a were closed, the effect for 17.8 million food insecure Yemenis would be devastating.
With the main Al Hudaydah-Sana’a road cut off by fighting, the only road out of Al-Hudaydah to Sana’a that remains open is the road to Hajjah, to the north of the city. This road is used by humanitarian organisations for the movement of humanitarian staff and cargo.
No large movements of people fleeing Al Hudaydah City have been observed as a result of the recent escalation, though on 14 September, UNHCR reported that fighting around Al Hudaydah had resulted in the displacement of about 500 families (approximately3,500 people) from the Olia, Sofla and Alkembaha villages in Ad Durayhimi District into Al Hudaydah City.
Overall displacement and Rapid Response Mechanism Assistance (RRM)
As of 18 September, 76,512 households have been displaced by the conflict in Al Hudaydah Governorate since June, both within the governorate as well as in neighbouring Hajjah, Raymah and Mahweet governorates. More than 81,000 displaced households in the four governorates have received assistance through the rapid response mechanism (RRM). More than 62,000 IDP HHs have been displaced within Al Hudaydah Governorate, 55,000 of them have been assisted with RRM.
Since the beginning of the year, humanitarian partners in government-controlled Aden in the south of the country have expanded their operations to reach the increasing number of people displaced by the conflict in Al Hudaydah.
Some 7,000 IDP households have been registered in Aden since 1 June 2018. Almost half of the displaced are in the district of Al Khawkhah, staying with host families as well as in one of four informal tented settlements set up with the assistance of the Emirates Red Crescent and the King Salman Relief Centre. An assessment of the IDP population in the district which aims to evaluate needs and improve cluster response is in preparation.
The remainder of the displaced population is located between Aden and Lahj which would suggest that civilians are fleeing Al Hudaydah using the route via Ibb and Al Dhale’e governorates.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.