Yemen: Impact of the closure of seaports and airports on the humanitarian situation - Situation Update 2 | 16 November 2017 [EN/AR]
Sea and airports in areas under the control of the Government of Yemen have re-opened, but the ports lack the capacity required for the volumes of commercial and humanitarian cargo previously handled by Al Hudaydah and Saleef. The re-opening of Aden airport has allowed some humanitarian flights to land, but services to other parts of the country are still blocked. The continued closure of some sea and air ports by the Saudi-led coalition will push Yemen to a further catastrophic humanitarian situation. Eleven days since the blockade was put in place, commercial and humanitarian supplies in the country are running dangerously low.
Impact on the delivery of supplies
UNVIM reports that as of 15 November, the blockade has prevented 29 vessels with approximately half a million metric tonnes of supplies (300,000 MT of food and 192,000 MT of fuel) from reaching the population of Yemen. This will have a significant impact on people’s ability to purchase food further aggravating an extremely fragile food security situation.
A UN humanitarian vessel transporting 1,313 MT of WHO/UNICEF health, wash and nutrition supplies, worth over than US$10 million, is currently being prevented from berthing in Al Hudaydah port.
• A UN vessel with 25,000 tons of wheat is waiting to berth off the coast of Al Hudaydah port, incurring significant daily demurrage costs.
Impact on fuel availability:
The blocking of fuel has led to a significant decrease in supplies, with diesel is estimated to run out in 20 days and petrol in 10 days in the northern areas of Yemen.
The price of petrol in Sana’a has increased by over 170 per cent from 275 YER/liter to 750 YER/liter in the black market. Few gas stations are currently open, and those that are have very long queues.
The price of diesel in the black market has increased by 62 per cent from 325 YER/liter to 525 YER/liter.
The increase in fuel prices has meant the price of trucked water has increased by 133 per cent in Sana’a. This will further increase the vulnerability of millions of Yemenis with limited access to water and threatens to reverse the gains made in combating cholera.
Impact on health
The blocking of essential medicine and vaccines and the lack of fuel arriving in Al Hudaydah port will impact millions of people that are already suffering from a lack of health services and multiple preventable diseases. All health facilities are reliant on fuel for delivering essential life-saving services and Diphtheria is spreading fast with 120 clinically diagnosed cases and 14 deaths in the last week.
At least one million children are at risk of contracting the disease.
The inability to re-supply life-saving maternal medicines and supplies will threaten the lives of 400,0000 pregnant women and their newborns, including 53,000 pregnant women who are likely to develop complications during childbirth.