RNA - “I am extremely concerned about military escalation in #Hodeida & their humanitarian & political impact,” the UN special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said in a tweet on Wednesday, Middle East News reported.
The UN envoy also issued a statement, saying he was continuing to hold negotiations on keeping Hudaydah open to aid deliveries.
"We are in constant contact with all the parties involved to negotiate arrangements for Hudaydah that would address political, humanitarian, security concerns of all concerned parties," Griffiths stated, calling on all sides to "exercise restraint and to give peace a chance".
The assault comes as aid groups warned on Wednesday that some 300,000 children risk death, injury and starvation as they are trapped in Hudaydah, which is the main route for food to reach most Yemenis, 8.4 million of whom are already on the verge of famine.
Jolien Veldwijk, acting country director for the charity CARE International, called the attack "catastrophic, hopeless and devastating", worsening hunger as food will become harder to find and more expensive.
"Kids are most vulnerable so they will die first... Parents will have to make a decision of either feeding their children or treating them,” Veldwijk added.
"With this assault, (children) are now suffering more hunger and death," Anas Shahari, a Spokesman for Save the Children, told Reuters by phone from the Yemeni capital Sana’a, saying he feared that the condition of some 300,000 children would worsen with less access to food, water and medicine.
"I could see children who are hungry, children who are on the streets with their ribs sticking out, babies unable to cry because they are so malnourished," he stated, adding that "that was the situation before, and now it is going to get worse".
The UN has warned that the battle in Hudaydah, which has a population of 600,000, could cost up to 250,000 lives, as well as cutting off aid and other supplies to millions of people.