The port of Hudaydah, in Yemen, remains key for the survival of the country's populations and migrants in spite of the ongoing war, says the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which continues to support the displaced in the city. Despite the enduring conflict, the port of Hudaydah remains a vital channel for the arrival of humanitarian aid for those who are desparately in need in Yemen, the UN agency for migration IOM reports.
The agency noted in a statement that 80% of imports in the country, including food and essential goods, enter through the port of Hudaydah. Twenty eight million Yemenis, in particular eight million people at risk of starvation, rely on the port.
615 migrants repatriated in 2018 from the port
''Any blockade or destruction of the port risks toppling the country into a full-blown famine with inevitably devastating consequences'', said Maysa Khalil, IOM Head of Sub-Office in Hudaydah. So far in 2018, IOM facilitated the return of 615 migrants via the port. However, unpredictable access to the port has resulted in the cancellation of multiple voluntary humanitarian return missions, with no movements in the past two months.
With the deterioration of humanitarian conditions, IOM continues to work in providing assistance to the displaced in the districts of the governorate of Hudaydah. 22 million of people in needs IOM reported that since March 2015, the constant instability of Yemen has devastated the country, causing the subsequent collapse of infrastructures, the economy, healthcare and livelihoods with 22.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.
The military offensive to seize control of the port and surrounding areas that began in June has exacerbated the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen, leading to the large-scale internal displacement of two million people. The UN agency reports that, since June 2018, some 78,400 households fled their homes in the port city to seek temporary shelter in public schools in San'aa.
The fragile health system in Yemen is also under huge pressure to sustain the growing medical needs of the population. Limited numbers of health professionals, shortages of medical supplies and restricted access to healthcare for civilians due to unrelenting fighting have increased the severity of disease outbreaks like cholera.