Tuesday 5th June 2018

Islamic Relief Worldwide is deeply concerned at the recent escalation of hostilities in Yemen, around Hodeida, after a vessel used by the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) was attacked after delivering a shipment into the port.

Any attack on the port will make an already dire humanitarian situation worse, cutting off a vital aid delivery route for more than 22 million people that have been left in need of humanitarian assistance.

Our team in Yemen is working in Hodeida under the umbrella of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), focusing on the registration of displaced people in anticipation of further attacks on the port, though we hope they won’t occur.

We call on all parties to the conflict to exercise restraint, especially in this holy month of Ramadan, so that aid can reach men, women and children who are on the brink of famine. We remind all parties to the conflict that protection of civilians is one of the basic principles of international humanitarian law.

In response to the possible attack on the port in Hodeida, Salem Jaffer Baobaid, Islamic Relief’s deputy country manager based in Hodeida, said:

“The situation in Hodeida is already devastating and catastrophic. An attack on the port would have dire, immediate humanitarian consequences. People are already literally dying of starvation. The port is the lifeline to much-needed supplies of food and other life-saving resources and any attack would jeopardise the ability of this country to feed itself. We should make no mistake, if the port is out of action, Yemeni citizens will die.

“Islamic Relief is doing what we can to deliver emergency food, nutrition for babies and clean water and sanitation, but what we really need is peace and greater humanitarian access.

“We are calling on all parties to the conflict to exercise restraint and work with the UN special representative to prioritise a peaceful resolution. More than this, there must be no greater priority than protecting civilian life – both in terms of avoiding causalities and recognising the need to keep vital supply chains open.”

Updated 12th June 2018 with quote