Al Hudaydah – IOM, the UN Migration Agency staff in Yemen are delivering assistance to thousands of people displaced by heavy fighting around the strategic port city of Al Hudaydah this week.
“We and our partners are working in a difficult environment in hopes of alleviating some of the hardship people are experiencing by providing food, and non-food items (NFIs), shelter kits and good quality tents we’ve just received from the Department for International Development (UK),” said Stefano Pes, IOM Yemen’s Officer in Charge.
“The situation is very bad and we’re doing our best to provide them with temporary shelter and support for the time being.”
Civilian casualties and mass displacements continue to mount amidst intense fighting that began on 12 June. It has caused further damage to ravaged public services that has affected water supplies, forced shops to close resulting in shortages in essential commodities, complicated the delivery of humanitarian assistance and resulted in the closure of a temporary feeding centre in Zabid.
The fortunate few are traveling to the relative safely of Sana’a, Aden and Thamar but the majority of the population have already exhausted their reserves, forcing them to seek protection wherever they can.
Fifty IOM staff are working in various locations to assist migrants and an estimated 50,000 newly displaced Yemenis in Al Hudaydah. In coordination with its partners, IOM is providing shelter kits and NFIs to 1,400 households in Bait Al Fakeeh. In Hays and Al Khookh, internally displaced persons (IDPs) have received 165 food baskets and IOM’s Migrant Response Point (MRP) compound is today sheltering and providing services to 41 displaced Yemenis. The organization has also provided 7,830 meals to children in three Al Hudaydah schools. The IDPs have received 400 boxes of dates, nearly 1,600 people have received free consultations at IOM’s clinic and 40 pregnant women have received counselling.
Located in the western part of the country, Al Hudaydah is the primary gateway for food and humanitarian aid for a population on the verge of starvation. Humanitarian organizations fear the port closure will lead to further forced displacements of people in a country where two million are already displaced and in need of humanitarian assistance.