21, Sep 2018
International NGO Save the Children has cautioned that five million children in Yemen are under threat due to potential famine, CNN reported. According to UAE state media, on Tuesday, September 18, the Saudi-led coalition mounted a campaign to retake the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, that is held by the Houthi rebels. According to Save the Children, “damage to the port or its temporary closure would increase food and fuel costs, putting 1 million more children at risk of famine,” CNN said. The organisation has termed Hodeidah a “vital lifeline” for aid and goods for 80% of Yemen’s population. Tamer Kirolos, the group’s country director for Yemen said, “Even the smallest disruption to food, fuel and aid supplies through its vital port could mean death for hundreds of thousands of malnourished children unable to get the food they need to stay alive,” adding, “It could drive up the price of fuel — and as a result transport — to such an extent that families can’t even afford to take their sick children to hospital.” Save the Children has stated that the price of food in the country has doubled in recent days, and that due to this, more Yemenis are struggling to obtain food. Moreover, the prices of fuel such as cooking gas and gasoline have also spiked 25% in recent months, “making it harder for people to travel and feed their families,” CNN stated. According to the United Nations, an assault on Hodeidah could potentially lead to 250,000 deaths in a worst case scenario. The port is a transit point for around 70% of humanitarian aid.