Hudaydah ‘one airstrike away from unstoppable epidemic’: UN humanitarian chief in Yemen

 

The crucial Yemeni port city of Hudaydah, which has been living under fire from pro-Government forces for weeks now, could be just “one airstrike away from an unstoppable epidemic”, said the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in the country on Sunday.

Lise Grande said in a statement from the capital Sana’a, 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.”

The port is the primary gateway for food and humanitarian supplies into the war-stricken country, and together with the city overall, it has been in the hands of Houthi rebels since the end of 2014, who have been battling government forces aided by a Saudi-led coalition, which has been deploying war planes since fighting escalated in 2015.

As one of the epicentres of the large cholera outbreak which began last year across Yemen, she said that the deadly water-bourne disease “is already present in neighbourhoods 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.

 

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