NEW YORK, 6 November 2018 - “Intense fighting in the Yemeni port city of Hudaydah is now dangerously close to Al Thawra hospital - putting the lives of 59 children, including 25 in the intensive care unit, at imminent risk of death.
“Medical staff and patients in the hospital have confirmed hearing heavy bombing and gunfire. Access to and from the hospital, the only functioning one in the area, is now imperilled.
“Children in particular cannot afford for Al Thawra to be caught up in the fighting. Hudaydah and the neighbouring governates account for 40 per cent of the 400,000 children in the country who suffer from severe acute malnutrition. Some of the sickest are taken to the hospital for urgent care.
“Fighting has also reportedly intensified around Hudaydah’s port – through which up to 80 per cent of Yemen’s humanitarian supplies, fuel and commercial goods are delivered. The toll in lives could be catastrophic if the port is damaged, destroyed or blocked.
“UNICEF’s teams on the ground are delivering assistance including lifesaving supplies like medicines, clean water and therapeutic food to treat acutely malnourished children. Further escalation in the fighting will jeopardize these efforts.
“UNICEF calls on all parties to cease hostilities near and around the hospital, and to ensure that civilians can safely access the hospital from all sides, and to abide by their legal obligations to stop attacks against civilian infrastructure – including the port of Hudaydah”