Red Sea ports re-open, but sustained imports needed to mitigate Famine risk
Large populations in Yemen continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity, the latter of which is associated with increased acute malnutrition and an increased risk of excess mortality. IDP populations, poor households in conflict zones, and poor households in areas with very high levels of acute malnutrition are likely facing the most severe outcomes.
In recent days, the Saudi-led coalition announced the re-opening of Hudaydah to commercial food and fuel imports. Heavy restrictions on imports through these ports since early November had resulted in sharp prices increases for fuel, and risked a deterioration in food security outcomes. Initial reports suggest commercial flows of food and fuel have increased in recent days, but sustained imports of essential goods is critically needed.
In the event a prolonged, sustained disruption to imports through Al Hudaydah and Salif ports were to occur in a worst-case scenario, Yemen would face a risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5), given that the other ports in Yemen have limited offload and storage capacity and that the potential for overland trade to offset the decline in maritime imports is extremely low. Even in the absence of additional disruptions, populations may begin to move into Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) as worst-affected households begin to exhaust their coping capacity.