Attack on Hodeidah may starve Yemen, says UN
ROME: An attack on Yemen’s Hodeidah port would push the country closer to famine as humanitarian agencies have no other way to deliver all the food and aid that is needed, a United Nations official said on Thursday.
A Saudi-led military coalition has been preparing an assault on the key Red Sea port, which is the point of entry for nearly 80 per cent of Yemen’s food imports.
Earlier this month, a coalition source said the alliance was preparing facilities in Aden and Mukalla in south Yemen as alternative entry routes for urgent aid in the event that Hodeidah port was affected by military operations.
UN World Food Programme director of emergencies Denise Brown said the agency had found no alternative route to cover all the country’s aid needs.
“Let me be clear, there is no viable option to the port of Hodeidah,” she told a press conference in Rome, adding that 75 percent of WFP food assistance went through the city.
Brown said other ports, like Aden, were not fit for purpose, and could not receive and offload more large ships, nor store and transport all the food.
Deliveries by plane were “cost prohibitive” at up to 10 times the price of delivery by sea, she said.
The port’s closure could affect access to food for more than five million people. Reuters
A soldier at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen. The country has no other viable ports for aid delivery.