Yemenis Who Fled Battle For Hodeidah Struggle To Survive
For days, Amal would pull her four children back from the windows each time Apache helicopters attacked the rooftop snipers in her neighborhood south of Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah.
Eventually the fighting got too much so the family fled the al-Tahita district to seek shelter in the heavily-defended city center. Amal, who declined to give her last name, is one of thousands of Yemenis displaced by a Saudi-led coalition offensive launched on June 12 to take control of the Red Sea port city.
“Rockets were falling constantly ... Most families have left their homes because they are afraid of being killed,” she told Reuters by telephone. “Houthi fighters were stationed on rooftops of buildings and in the alleyways and coalition helicopters would attack them.”
The United Nations fears the offensive on Hodeidah, whose port is a lifeline for millions of Yemenis, risks exacerbating a humanitarian crisis in which 8.4 million people are believed to be on the verge of starvation.
Many Yemenis who have fled their homes and farms in and around Hodeidah to head north to the capital Sanaa or to safer areas along the western coast and the southern port city of Aden say they are struggling to survive.
In Sanaa, some families from Hodeidah have only been able to find shelter in crumbling one-room cement structures with no running water or furniture and have no source of income. “We are in bad shape here ... Our men have no jobs, they can’t find work,” said Khairiya Shou’y.
Women squatted over a fire outside to boil milk and cook chicken skin as children played in the dirt. Inside the rooms, families sit on a sole mattress, blankets or on the floor.
“We got here and didn’t get anything, there are no organizations (to help), nothing,” said Abdulrahman Fare, adding that this shelter had been provided by a fellow tribesman.
The U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a Hodeidah situation report published on July 4 that more than 121,000 people have been displaced since June 1.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by Website Team