Yemen - Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #3, Fiscal Year (FY) 2018
• First commercial ships arrive at Al Hudaydah Port since November 6 port closures
• Diphtheria outbreak nears 600 suspected cases as of December 31
• Escalated violence in December results in at least 245 civilian deaths, displaces 25,000 people in western Yemen
• On December 20, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)-led Coalition announced it would reopen access to Yemen’s Al Hudaydah Port for commercial shipments, including fuel, for a 30-day period. The Coalition had closed Yemen’s Red Sea ports, including Al Hudaydah and Al Saleef, on November 6 after the KSA intercepted a missile launched by Al Houthi forces toward the KSA’s capital city of Riyadh. Since the announcement, the Coalition’s Evacuation and Humanitarian Operations Cell (EHOC) has allowed several commercial food and fuel ships to enter the Red Sea ports. The shipments will provide much-needed supplies amid severe fuel shortages and widespread food insecurity.
• UN Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock and UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC) for Yemen Jamie McGoldrick recently released statements welcoming food and fuel imports into Yemen’s Red Sea ports. The UN officials emphasized the importance of all ports remaining open to humanitarian and commercial vessels, as Yemenis are critically dependent on imports, and humanitarian assistance is often shipped into Yemen on commercial vessels.
• Civilian casualties surged in late December due to ongoing conflict; Coalition airstrikes resulted in at least 245 civilian deaths and at least 160 injuries from December 6–28, according to the UN. In addition, escalated violence in December prompted approximately 25,000 people to flee frontline areas of conflict in western Yemen’s Al Hudaydah and Ta’izz governorates to neighboring governorates.
• In addition to a widespread cholera outbreak, Yemen continues to face its first major outbreak of diphtheria—a preventable, highly infectious respiratory disease—in more than 25 years, with more than 580 suspected cases recorded between mid-August and late December.