The Saudi-led coalition announced on November 20th that the port in Hodeidah and airport in Sana’a would be reopened for humanitarian aid, but aid into these two cities has still been blocked going on three weeks now.
The following is only a SMALL PORTION of how this blockade is and will be affecting Yemen. Click on the ReliefWeb link about to read the full report.
There continues to be a grave risk of further death, disease and starvation. On 20 November, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FewsNet) warned that should the blockade continue, many areas of Yemen are likely to experience famine within three to four months.
The Urban Water Unit of the Ministry of Water and Environnent in Sana’a estimates that seven cities (Sana’a, Hudaydah, Hajjah, Taizz, Sa’ada, Al Bayda and Amran) have depleted their fuel stocks and reduced the population’s access to safe water. Two cities, Ibb and Dhamar, expect fuel stocks to run out in two to four weeks. The estimated fuel consumption for these cities is 2.8 million litres.
A chartered UNICEF plane carrying vaccines is expected to fly to Sana’a airport on 25 November after waiting in Nairobi for days. UNICEF cannot divert the cargo to Aden as Sana’a is the main cold chain storage facility with capacity to store vaccines for the entire country. Aden airport does not have a cold chain facility and the overland transport of these highly perishable items from Aden to Sana’a would require 12 hours driving across more than 30 check points crossing front lines. Failure to deliver these vaccines, would affect almost 600,000 children aged less than 1 year.
The delay in delivering diphtheria medical supplies has serious consequences. The disease is spreading fast in Yemen with 156 clinically diagnosed cases and 14 deaths – mostly children – in the last few weeks. Eighty-three per cent of the cases are reported from six districts in Ibb Governorate. On 21 November, six new cases were reported in Hudaydah with one death.
A WFP vessel carrying 25,000 MT of bulk wheat, sufficient for 1.8 million beneficiaries for one month, has been waiting to access Saleef port since 11 November. A second vessel, carrying 1,313 MT/3,544 cbm of UNICEF/WHO health, WASH and nutrition supplies, is awaiting confirmation to sail to Al Hudaydah port.
UNHAS has cancelled 32 flights since 6 November, stranding 220 UN/INGO staff from nearly 50 agencies in Djibouti and Amman while 310 staff are stranded in Sana’a and other duty stations waiting to rotate out of the country by air from Sana’a airport. On 22 November, an ICRC flight safely landed and departed from Sana’a on a medevac mission.