By Mohamed al-Samei
Around 35,000 families have been displaced from Yemen’s coastal city of Al-Hudaydah amid fighting between government forces and Houthi rebels, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
“As of 13 July, approximately 35,000 displaced households have been verified, and 20,000 of them have received RRM assistance,” OCHA said in a statement on Monday.
OCHA said intense artillery shelling and airstrikes in Al Tuhayata and Zabid districts in Al-Hudaydah continue to trigger displacement and disrupt access to basic services.
Last month, Yemeni government forces backed by a Saudi-led military coalition began a wide-ranging operation to retake the western Al-Hudaydah province -- and its strategic seaport -- from the rebels.
Earlier this month, however, the United Arab Emirates, which is a member of the Saudi-led coalition, announced a pause in military operations in the port city.
According to the UN office, Al-Hudaydah city is relatively calm following an announced pause in military operations by the Saudi-led coalition.
“More civilians are moving within the city compared to previous weeks; shops and bakeries have reopened and water supply has improved following repairs to the main water pipeline,” it said. "However, roads leading to airport, sea port and the Sanaa–Al Hudaydah road remain blocked by sand and concrete barriers."
Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.
The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies -- who accuse the Shia Houthis of serving as Iranian proxies -- launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.
*Ali Murat Alhas contributed to this story from Ankara