Yemen Humanitarian Update Covering 4 - 11 June 2018 | Issue 19
• Humanitarian agencies are increasingly worried by the likely impact of a possible military assault on Al Hudaydah City which will impact hundreds of thousands of civilians.
• Prepositioning of aid supplies continues throughout the Governorate as aid organisations plan to stay and deliver • Forty-six migrants drown off the coast of Yemen
INCREASED CONCERNS AT A POSSIBLE MILITARY ASSAULT ON AL HUDAYDAH
As fighting continues along Yemen’s western coast, humanitarian agencies are increasingly worried by the likely impact of a possible military assault on Al Hudaydah City.
In a briefing to the Security Council on 11 June, the Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said Hudaydah matters for the whole of the humanitarian operation in Yemen. He added that the UN and other humanitarian organizations are reconfiguring their presence, but intend to stay and deliver.
The UN and its partners estimate that as many as 600,000 civilians are currently living in and around Al Hudaydah. In addition to being one of Yemen’s most densely populated governorates, Al Hudaydah Governorate hosts the main port through which most of Yemen’s imports enter, including commercial and humanitarian supplies needed to prevent famine and a recurrence of a cholera epidemic.
Humanitarian partners are doing everything possible to assist people in need and prepare for all possible scenarios. Over the last several weeks, agencies have procured and pre-positioned additional supplies, aiming to deliver 70,000 rapid response kits mainly to local warehouses in Al Hudaydah Governorate and adjacent districts of neighbouring governorates. Those kits include immediate food rations, hygiene supplies and dignity kits.
The humanitarian response in Yemen currently assists more than seven million people every month and it is considered one of the world’s most difficult operating environments.
Humanitarian organisations have very little margin to take on additional caseloads in what is already the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Following a briefing to the UN Security Council on 11 June, the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), Mark Lowcock, reaffirmed that humanitarian organizations intend to stay in Al Hudaydah and deliver assistance to people in need and outlined the three critical priorities he had asked the support of the Council.
The first priority is to ensure that all stakeholders work together to ensure that Al Hudaydah and Saleef ports remain open and operational without interruption so that humanitarian organizations can ensure continued humanitarian relief and adequate levels of essential commercial imports. In relation to this issue, the ERC asked the Council to try to influence all stakeholders to ensure that aid supplies and essential commercial imports are able, not just to enter the ports, but also to move from the ports to their final destinations and to the people who benefit from them without impediment.
As a second priority, the ERC asked the Council’s help to ensure that all parties to the conflict, including all affiliated forces, meet their obligations to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, taking active steps to respect the fundamental rules of distinction, proportionality and precautions. As part of this, all parties to allow freedom of movement for civilians seeking to flee conflict-affected areas or to move out of areas where they fear conflict may escalate. Thirdly, the ERC urged the Council to support the efforts of the Special Envoy to prevent a battle for Al Hudaydah but also to move forward with the peace process.