Yemen depends on the port city of Hodeidah for up to 80% of its food imports. The Saudi-led coalition, backed by the US, claims that the Houthi rebels are using the port to smuggle in weapons. Now Saudi Arabia and its allies might be preparing to attack the city and have positioned two brigades nearby.
The United Nations says that this will only lead to more suffering and more displacement and is urging the warring parties to keep this port safe.
Yemen has historically imported 80 to 90 per cent of its food, mostly through Hodeidah. Five cranes at the port there have been destroyed by airstrikes, forcing dozens of ships to line up offshore because they cannot be unloaded.
“The port is located in a densely populated urban center where thousands of people live and any military campaign in its vicinity, from the ground or air, would have devastating civilian consequences,” the agency warned.
A general view shows a boat flying the UNICEF flag being unloaded at the main container cranes in the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, on February 1, 2017.