Ongoing violence in Yemen’s Al-Hudaydah province between the country’s Saudi-backed government and Houthi rebels “puts tens of thousands of already vulnerable people at risk”, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday.
“The violence [in Al-Hudaydah] is now in close proximity to local hospitals and threatens the safety of medical staff and patients… leaving hundreds without access to treatment,” the WHO said in a Thursday statement.
It added: “With only 50 percent of health facilities functioning countrywide… we cannot afford for one more health worker to lose his or her life or one more hospital to go out of service.”
Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.
The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a devastating air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.
In recent months, the fighting has been largely concentrated in Al-Hudaydah, where the two sides continue to fight over a strategic seaport located between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
Ongoing violence in Yemen has destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure, prompting the UN to describe the situation as one of “the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”. aa