Yemenis in Free Fall One Year Since Blockade


Human Wrongs Watch

By the Norwegian Refugee Council*

5 November 2018 — One year since the Saudi-led Coalition imposed a blockade on sea, land and air routes in Yemen, millions more are edging closer to famine and fatal disease.
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A girl stands inside the Al Habbari informal settlement for displaced people in Sana’a. The settlement is on private land and receives a very small amount of support from its owner. Families living here lack basic services such as showers and latrines. Photo: Becky Bakr Abdulla/NRC, 30 August 2018

“The past 12 months have been a never-ending nightmare for Yemeni civilians. The parties to the conflict have consistently disavowed the laws of war and employed tactics that exacerbate suffering for civilian populations,” said Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

The one-year-long partial blockade has prevented import of vital food, fuel and medical supplies, creating shortages on key commodities for a population in dire need. This had led to mass inflation and propelled a crisis already widely regarded as the worst in the world.

Fuel imports through Hodeidah, Yemen’s most important sea port, remain drastically low and insufficient for meeting needs. The past days have also seen fierce fighting and air strikes pick up in the vicinity of Hodeidah city threatening to further deteriorate civilians’ access to safety and aid.

12 million people are left at imminent risk of descending into famine while over one million cholera suspected cases have been identified in Yemen. Over 22 million people need some form of aid or protection across the country.

“We call on parties to this brutal conflict, the UN Security Council and individual member states to take immediate steps towards a ceasefire, the full opening of all of Yemen’s ports, the restoration of public services and stabilisation of the Yemeni economy in the interest of arresting an entirely man-made humanitarian catastrophe,” Egeland said.

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“Khalas. There is no more future. Nothing to look forward to anymore,” said Yusuf Ali Ahmed, 28, when we interviewed him in September. Photo: Becky Bakr Abdulla/NRC

Facts:

  • On the 5th and 6th of November last year, the Saudi-led Coalition imposed a full blockade on Yemen’s airports, seaports and land borders, purportedly as a measure to stop the importation of weapons into Yemen following interception by the Saudi military of a ballistic missile fired at Riyadh.
  • Air and sea ports in areas under the control of the internationally-recognised government of Yemen (GoY) remained closed for eleven days, while critical sea ports along Yemen’s west coast were shut down for a period of more than seven weeks and only partially reopened thereafter.
  • 12 million people are now at imminent risk of descending into famine.
  • More than 16 million people don’t have access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene and are extremely vulnerable to communicable disease outbreaks and factors that exacerbate the health causes of famine mortality.
  • As of the 26th of October, Yemeni Riyal was set at 720.18 to one USD by Internatinal bank of Yemeni.
  • World Health Organisation (WHO) reported 13,403 cholera cases as of October 2018. This is six times the number of reported cases as of mid-June (2,089), indicating the ongoing serious threat of a substantial new outbreak which has been exaccebated by displacement and economic deterioration.

*SOURCE: Norwegian Refugee Council. Go to ORIGINAL

2018 Human Wrongs Watch

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