UN warns that Yemen’s Hudaydah port one airstrike away from epidemic
The United Nations has warned that Yemen’s Hudaydah is just “one airstrike away from an unstoppable epidemic.”
In a statement released on Sunday, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Lise Grande, said that “for weeks, we’ve been doing everything possible to help hundreds of thousands of people living in and near Hudaydah”, however, “these airstrikes are putting innocent civilians at extreme risk.”
Backed by Saudi-led airstrikes, Emirati forces and militants loyal to the former Yemeni government launched the Hudaydah assault on June 13 despite warnings that it would compound the impoverished nation’s humanitarian crisis.
There was no immediate report of possible casualties and the extent of damage inflicted in the airstrikes.
“Since the start of the recent military offensive…humanitarian partners have been providing food, water, emergency kits, cash and healthcare,” she added.
Humanitarian organizations have warned that the Hudaydah operation threatens to cut off essential supplies to millions of Yemeni people. More than 70 percent of Yemen’s imports pass through Hudaydah’s docks.
Grande went on to stress that cholera “is already present in neighborhoods across the city and governorate. Damage to sanitation, water and health facilities jeopardizes everything that we are trying to do…We could be one airstrike away from an unstoppable epidemic.”
“On 26, 27 and 28 July, air strikes occurred near a reproductive health center and public laboratory in Hudaydah and hit and damaged a sanitation facility in Zabid and a water station, which supplies the majority of the water to Hudaydah City,” she added.
The Yemeni Health Ministry has also raised the alarm over a fresh major outbreak of cholera in the war-torn country.
According to the ministry, hospitals and private medical centers in the capital city Sana’a have recorded a spike in suspected cholera cases over the past two weeks.
The coalition claims the Houthis are using Hudaydah for weapons delivery, an allegation rejected by the Ansarullah fighters.
Riyadh has been at the helm of the deadly campaign against Yemen since March 2015. However, it has failed to fulfill its purpose of the war on Yemen, which was to reinstate the former Riyadh-friendly government and undermine Ansarullah.