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UN: Hudaydah Port Interruptions Would Be Catastrophic

The escalating conflict in Hudaydah Governorate, Yemen, poses a threat to the region’s port, which, together with nearby Saleef, are the lifeline for the majority of the country’s imports of essential goods like food and fuel.

Speaking to the United Nations Security Council on Yemen Director of Operations and Advocacy division of UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, John Ging, insisted that keeping the ports open is critical.

“Sustained hostilities in Hudaydah city, interruptions to the port operations or a siege of the city would be catastrophic and must be avoided,” he said.

Even though the two ports remain operational, it is also crucial to ensure enough quantities of imports reach the ports, he insisted.

The Yemeni Port of Hudaydah was reopened in November 2017 after the Saudi Arabia-led Coalition allowed operations to resume in order for the port to receive urgent humanitarian relief.

The port was closed at the beginning of November after a rebel-fired ballistic missile, which targeted Riyadh, was intercepted on November 4 by Saudi Arabian military forces.

“Commercial food imports in May rose to their highest level since November 2016 and fully met requirements. However, food and fuel imports fell in June and again in July. While keeping all ports open is critical, we are equally concerned about maintaining adequate quantities of affordable imports through these ports. To do so, the conditions must be created whereby shipping companies have enough commercial confidence to continue supplying them,” he added, stressing that the end of the ongoing conflict is long overdue.

The three -year conflict has pushed the country into a dire humanitarian crisis, leaving 2 million people displaced from their homes; 8.4 million people in need of fuel supplies and, the worst cholera outbreak in the world that occurred in 2017, with 1.1 million cases, the U.N. data shows.

Based on the latest information from GAC, the operational ports in the country are Aden, Rudhum Oil Exporting Terminal, Mukalla, Ash Shihr Oil Exporting Terminal, Nishtun, Hodeidah and Saleef.

Balhaf LNG Terminal, Mokha, Ras Isa Marine Terminal and Ras Isa Petroleum Products Reception Facility remain closed.

World Maritime News Staff