Yemen’s Hudaydah Port One Airstrike Away From Epidemic: UN

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SANNA — The United Nations has warned that Yemen’s Hudaydah is just “one airstrike away from an unstoppable epidemic.”

In a statement released on Sunday, the United Nations hu­manitarian coordinator in Ye­men, Lise Grande, said that “for weeks, we’ve been doing every­thing possible to help hundreds of thousands of people living in and near Hudaydah”, however, “these airstrikes are putting innocent ci­vilians at extreme risk.”

Backed by Saudi-led air­strikes, Emirati forces and mili­tants loyal to the former Yemeni government launched the Huday­dah assault on June 13 despite warnings that it would compound the impoverished nation’s human­itarian crisis.

“Since the start of the recent military offensive…humanitar­ian partners have been providing food, water, emergency kits, cash and healthcare,” she added.

Humanitarian organizations have warned that the Hudaydah operation threatens to cut off es­sential supplies to millions of Ye­meni people. More than 70 percent of Yemen’s imports pass through Hudaydah’s docks.

Grande went on to stress that cholera “is already present in neighborhoods across the city and governorate. Damage to sanita­tion, water and health facilities jeopardizes everything that we are trying to do…We could be one airstrike away from an unstop­pable epidemic.”

“On 26, 27 and 28 July, air strikes occurred near a reproduc­tive health center and public labo­ratory in Hudaydah and hit and damaged a sanitation facility in Zabid and a water station, which supplies the majority of the water to Hudaydah City,” she added.

The Yemeni Health Ministry has also raised the alarm over a fresh major outbreak of cholera in the war-torn country.

According to the ministry, hospitals and private medical cen­ters in the capital city Sana’a have recorded a spike in suspected chol­era cases over the past two weeks.

The coalition claims the Houthis are using Hudaydah for weapons delivery, an allegation re­jected by the Ansarullah fighters.

Riyadh has been at the helm of the deadly campaign against Ye­men since March 2015. However, it has failed to fulfill its purpose of the war on Yemen, which was to reinstate the former Riyadh-friendly government and under­mine Ansarullah.

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