Since March 2015, the conflict in Yemen has exacerbated the already precarious humanitarian situation and according to OCHA, an estimated 22.2 million need of humanitarian assistance as of December 2017, including 11.3 million who are in acute need1 . Against this backdrop, Yemen faced the worst cholera outbreak in 2017 with more than one million suspected cases reported by the end of December; a resurgence of the outbreak is likely in 2018 due to prevalence of risk factors (rains, eruption or escalation of conflict, lack of safe water and sanitation).
In addition, since December 2017, Al Hudaydah Governorate has been witnessing an escalation of military operations. In June 2018, the conflict reached the city of Al Hudaydah, and in November 2018 it approached the populated areas of the city. This intensification of the conflict has led to a huge displacement from and within Al Hudaydah Governorate, with a parallel increase in restriction in humanitarian access.
The scale of the needs and the scope of the emergency response has required a large, multi-agency and multi-sector response. However, the humanitarian community continues to face a number of critical logistics challenges; therefore, additional logistical support has been required to ensure humanitarian organisations responding to the crisis can deliver efficient and effective assistance to affected people.
The Logistics Cluster will continue to ensure coordination and information management services in Sana’a, Aden, Hodeidah and Djibouti to maximize the use of available resources in country, and avoid duplication of efforts.
Pending availability of resources, the Logistics Cluster will facilitate access for humanitarian organizations to common logistics services such as overland transport, air cargo transport from Djibouti to Sana’a, and sea cargo transport from Djibouti to Aden and Hodeidah; sea passenger transport between Djibouti and Aden, as well as Djibouti and Hodeidah; access to temporary storage facilities; fuel distribution.
Logistics Gaps and Bottlenecks
The major constraints on the ability of humanitarian organisations to respond to the crisis in Yemen include damaged road infrastructure, disruptions in access to many parts of the country in terms of both cargo and staff, and fuel shortages. Specifically, the following logistics gaps have been identified:
Congestion at main entry points (POD – port of discharge);
Limited international transport options into Yemen, especially by air;
Unreliable and unpredictable access to sufficient quantities of fuel, as well as high volatility in its price;
Limited in-country storage capacity;
Poor overland transport capacity from neighbouring countries;
Limited cold chain capacity for the needs of the cholera response.