UN Says Assault on Yemeni Port Could Cost 250,000 Civilian Lives

UN Says Assault on Yemeni Port Could Cost 250,000 Civilian Lives

UN Says Assault on Yemeni Port Could Cost 250,000 Civilian Lives

"During the long study and calculation, we found that as many as 250 000 people lost everything they had - even my life".

According to the statement, the United Nations and its partners estimate that as many as 600,000 civilians are now living in Hodeidah and neighboring areas.

Government forces have been trying to seize rebel-held Hodeida, a vital lifeline from which most of Yemen's population gets food and medicine.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday it had pulled 71 international staff out of Yemen because of security incidents and threats, moving them to Djibouti.

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"The security of our staff, who are being intimidated by parties to the conflict, is a non-negotiable prerequisite for our presence and work in Yemen and an absolute priority", the statement said.

Those withdrawn from Yemen represent more than half of the ICRC's worldwide staff in the country and one fifth of its total staff, spokeswoman Marie Claire Feghali told AFP.

"We have received threats from all sides".

"Iran's central bank governor, other Central Bank of Iran officials and the Quds force team up to (...) move funds on behalf of Quds and Hezbollah", she said, adding that in Yemen, besides sending ballistic missiles to the Houthis, Quds printed "counterfeit Yemeni bank notes, potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars, to support Iran's destabilizing activities".

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In April, unidentified armed men shot dead a humanitarian aid worker from the ICRC in Yemen's southwestern province of Taiz.

Previous efforts to end the conflict, which according to the United Nations has killed more than 10,000 people, have failed.

Noting that Yemen's most densely populated areas, Hodeidah is the single most important point of entry for the food and basic supplies needed to prevent starvation, Grande said: "Close to 70 percent of Yemen's imports, including commercial and humanitarian goods, enter through the ports of Hodeidah and Saleef".

Yemen, according to the United Nations, faces the world's worst humanitarian crisis and 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian aid, and 8.4 million are at risk of starvation, a number that will rise to 18 million this year if conditions do not improve.

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