London, UK, June 13, 2018 — The International Rescue Committee (IRC) condemns the Saudi-led coalition offensive on Yemen’s Hodeidah port, which acts as a lifeline for food and medical supplies for millions of Yemenis.
The IRC calls on UN Security Council member states to make clear their determination to maintain humanitarian supplies to the people of Yemen and to uphold international humanitarian law. They must put their full diplomatic weight behind establishing an immediate, effective ceasefire.
The city of Hodeidah, inland from the port, is home to 400,000 people, including IRC staff working on critical, life-saving health, water and sanitation projects. Martin Griffiths, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen warned the UN Security Council in April that an attack on the city could “in a stroke, take peace off the table”. The UN, governments including the US and UK, and aid agencies including the IRC have warned repeatedly that such an attack would be catastrophic for the Yemeni people. There are just two main routes in and out of the city and there is a risk of besiegement with devastating consequences.
IRC President and CEO David Miliband said: “The attack on Hodeidah is an attack on the political and diplomatic process to bring peace to Yemen. UN Security Council members including the US and UK governments warned against it and must bring the violence to an end. They must act now to secure a ceasefire before the people in Hodeidah city suffer the same fate as those in Aleppo, Mosul or Raqqa.”
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 29 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue-uk.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.