Lise Grande [official profile], head UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said [statement] Thursday that the “situation has deteriorated dramatically in the past few days,” and “hundreds of thousands of lives hang in the balance,” in the port city of Hodeida.
Hodeida is Yemen’s principal port on the Red Sea and the chief entry point for food imports. Since the Yemeni Civil War began in 2015 it has been a Houthi stronghold, but the Saudi-led coalition approaching from the south threatens its safety. More than eight million people in the area now face starvation. On Tuesday UN Special Envoy to Yemen Mark Griffiths requested more supplies [UN News Centre report] for the country so that a famine does not occur.
“Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” remarked [statement] Secretary-General António Guterres in April. “Three-quarters of the population needs immediate humanitarian aid and protection.”
At least 15,000 people have been killed and many war crimes [JURIST report] are alleged to have occurred since the conflict began in 2015. With the main supply road and shipping lanes blockaded by Coalition forces, the death toll may soon rise.