Despite Ongoing Conflict Al-Hudaydah Port Remains Lifeline of Yemen

A shelter and relief items distribution in Yemen. Photo: IOM

An internally displaced Yemeni child receives treatment. Photo: IOM

Al-Hudaydah — Despite renewed and ongoing clashes in the city of Al-Hudaydah, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is continuing its support to displaced persons in the city and across Yemen.

Since March 2015, consistent insecurity in Yemen has ravaged the country causing subsequent collapse of the infrastructure, economy, health services and livelihoods with 22.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

The military offensive to seize control of the Al-Hudaydah port and surrounding areas that began in June has exacerbated the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen, leading to the large-scale internal displacement of two million people. IOM reports that since June 2018 some 78,400 households fled their homes in Al-Hudaydah to seek temporary shelter in public schools in San’a.

The fragile health system in Yemen is also under immense pressure to sustain the growing medical needs of the population. Limited numbers of health professionals, shortages of medical supplies and restricted access to healthcare for civilians due to unrelenting fighting have increased the severity of disease outbreaks such as cholera.

The Al-Hudaydah port remains a vital conduit and lifeline for the delivery of humanitarian aid to those desperately in need. Eighty per cent of Yemen’s imports, including food and basic commodities, enter the country through the Al-Hudaydah port. Twenty-eight million Yemenis, especially the eight million people at risk of starvation, rely on this port as a lifeline. 

“Any blockade or destruction of the port risks toppling the country into a full-blown famine with inevitably devastating consequences,” said Maysa Khalil, IOM Head of Sub-Office in Al-Hudaydah.

Thus far in 2018, IOM facilitated the return of 615 migrants via the Al-Hudaydah port. However, unpredictable access to the port has resulted in the cancellation of multiple voluntary humanitarian return missions, with no movements in the past two months.

As the humanitarian situation worsens, IOM remains committed to providing assistance to displaced communities in districts across the Al-Hudaydah Governate. In the last two months, IOM supplied 1,788 shelter kits and 2,450 non-food item (NFI) kits to families in Bayt Al-Faqiah district. In Al-Qatee’e and Al-Marawi’ah districts, IOM established four kitchens and served 2,000 meals daily. IOM also provides food baskets through the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) in Al-Qanawis, Ad-Durayhimi, Az-Zaydiyah, Al-Munirah and Bayt Al-Faqiah districts. In addition, IOM supported 946 displaced families with cash and rental subsidies assistance in Al-Garrahi, Zabid and Jabal Ra’s districts.

Across Al-Hudaydah, IOM also offers emergency medical services including vaccinations, reproductive healthcare, mental health and psychosocial support in coordination with partner agencies such as the World Health Organization.

IOM remains committed to ensuring the provision of medical equipment, ambulances, emergency assistance, child protection services, water, sanitation, and hygiene services, and other lifesaving assistance to conflict-affected populations across the country.

For more information please contact: Saba Malme at IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329; Email: