Yemen Key Message Update, May 2018
Continued port functioning critical as increased conflict continues in Al Hudaydah
Large populations in Yemen continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity. As worst-affected households begin to exhaust their coping capacity, populations may begin to move into Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) even in the absence of additional disruptions. In a worst-case scenario, significant declines in commercial imports below requirement levels and conflict that cuts populations off from trade and humanitarian assistance for an extended period could drive food security outcomes in line with Famine (IPC Phase 5).
In recent weeks, increased conflict has continued in Al Hudaydah. FEWS NET remains concerned about any conflict that could result in damage or disrupted operations at the ports of Al Hudaydah and Salif, which could significantly affect the commercial flow of imported food and fuel. These two ports represent approximately 70 percent of monthly food imports and 40-50 percent of monthly fuel imports into Yemen.
WFP reports indicate that the first containerized cargo vessel arrival in Al Hudaydah port since November 2017 took place in late May 2018. The absence of flows of containerized cargo through Al Hudaydah is believed to be one major factor driving lower import levels for some essential commodities, such as cooking oil, through Al Hudaydah compared to levels observed in 2017.
In May 2018, two tropical cyclones hit parts of Yemen. Tropical Cyclone Sagar brushed Yemen’s southern coastline, where minimal damage was reported. Tropical Cyclone Mekunu struck the Yemeni island of Socotra, and made landfall along Yemen’s eastern border with Oman. Preliminary reports indicate Mekunu’s damage in Yemen was most severe on Socotra, where it resulted in human deaths, destruction of infrastructure, and the displacement of approximately 600 households.