Al Rabeeah and Al Hashemy announcing the multi-faceted plan. Image Credit: CIC

Manama: Saudi Arabia and the UAE have announced a comprehensive, multi-faceted plan for the protection of civilians in port city of Hodeidah and surrounding areas.

On Wednesday, the Arab Coalition and Yemeni Resistance forces launched, with land, sea and air support by the UAE Armed Forces, a decisive military operation to liberate Hodeidah and its strategic port from the grip of the Iranian-backed Al Houthi militias, who rejected peaceful solutions.

The five-point plan, which aims to safeguard and intensify the flow of humanitarian aid into the port of Hodeidah, will be underpinned by the continued support in Yemen of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) and the UAE Red Crescent.

The joint plan sets guarantees for the protection of civilians in the province. They include the establishment of a continuous shipping lane from Jazan (Saudi Arabia) and Abu Dhabi (UAE) to Hodeidah, allowing for the preservation of shipping deliveries of food, medical and oil supplies and the distribution of urgently-needed food supplies by teams on the ground.

Other guarantees include additional provisions for hospitals through the allocation of medical supplies, equipment and experienced staff, sustained operation of electrical stations to ensure unbroken supply needed for citizens, hospitals and the port and ongoing economic support to preserve trade and business in Hodeidah.

“We are committed to doing everything possible to preserve the safety of those in and around the port of Hodeidah,” Dr Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Supervisor General of KSRelief, said at a conference in Riyadh alongside Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, UAE’s Minister of State for International Cooperation.

“KSRelief is working around the clock, coordinating with partner agencies on the ground in the province to ensure that aid continues to flow freely and efficiently. We are taking all measures possible to intensify the supply of humanitarian provisions to the people of Yemen and will continue to do all we can to make sure help reaches those who need it,” he said, quoted by the Riyadh-based Centre for International Communication.

In a statement before the conference, Al Hashemy said that the Arab Coalition has prepared a large-scale and comprehensive surge plan for the rapid delivery of humanitarian aid to the Yemeni Governorate of Hodeidah, and surrounding areas.

Food and essential supplies have been stocked and prepared for immediate intervention, she added.

“We have ships, planes, and trucks with food supplies and medicine to address the immediate needs of the people,” she said, stressing that the Hodeidah port remains open to shipping.

“Should the Houthis attempt to further damage and destroy any port or logistics infrastructure, we have also put contingency plans in place to move aid by other methods to Hodeidah and points beyond,” she said.

“On top of the $14 billion that the Coalition has already given for aid in Yemen - we continue to work with aid agencies on the ground to ensure that once the port is liberated we will quickly increase the capacity of the port and the amount of aid flowing through it.

“The Coalition successfully implemented similar large-scale operations when it liberated Aden, Mukalla and Mocha which led to a considerable improvement in the lives of their people. In each area the Coalition has liberated, the local people are now better off than under Houthi or AQAP control.”