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Ongoing Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen

Logistics Sitrep 15.3.21

General Situation

The situation in Yemen continues to be perceived as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Many years of blockade and conflict have taken a heavy toll on the country’s economy.

Escalating hostilities in the Ma’rib region have recently forced thousands of people to flee again and the situation is further compounded by COVID-19 and a lack of donor funding to this long-running crisis.

Generally, logistics access to the South is easier, due to South Yemen being under coalition/government control and there being a greater prevalence of commercial shipping lines & airlines operating. The North of Yemen (including Sanaa/Hodeidah) is generally under Houthi control. Any shipments imported into Southern Yemen that need to travel to North Yemen will need to undergo dual customs clearance in both areas of the country.

Air Cargo Access

The airports are not under any official night-time curfew although daylight operating hours are maintained, especially under charter / slot approval basis. Official working hours for airport & customs staff are 0800-1400 local time, but overtime can be requested for a fee.

Sanaa/SAH Airport
  • Airport is operational for government, UN and NGO charter flight operations
  • Operations are subjected to permissions from Coalition forces & the MOFA Yemen
  • Air Slots are provided & strict operating hours (typical 0500-1100z
  • Airport handling equipment is available to download larger cargo aircraft
Aden/ADE Airport
  • Airport is operational for government, UN and NGO charter flight operations
  • Operations are subjected to permissions from Coalition forces & the MOFA Yemen
  • Commercial flights with narrow-body aircraft do operate very limited frequency to ADE, including Yemenia & Air Djibouti from Cairo, Jeddah and Djibouti
Seyuon/GXF Airport
  • Commercial flights to Cairo, Amman and Socotra Island

Ocean Freight Access

14-day quarantine for COVID-19 does not apply at Yemeni ports but ship crews need to precaution against malaria and other mosquito-diseases. Port officials will board vessels and give them permission to berth, in conjunction with coalition approval

Aden Port
  • All Ships calling at Aden, port need to apply for clearance at the Coalition HQ in Riyadh prior to berthing.
  • Almost all shipping lines are sailing via Aden but there are delays and port congestion
  • Aden port is operational and there are two terminals at the port
  • The Caltax/Freezone port is for containerized cargo with several international container shipping lines calling at this terminal
  • The Muallah port is for breakbulk & containerized cargo with a few international container lines and break bulk vessels calling at this terminal
Hodeidah Port
  • This port is only for food and oil supply shipments and has recently opened for chartered vessels belonging to UNWFP and the NGO community

Overland Transport

  • Escorted trucking is possible from Jordan across KSA to Northern Yemen and is being utilized by the humanitarian community, although it carries security risks and lengthy transit times
  • Any overland transport between Southern & Northern Yemen is controlled under security approval of coalition forces. Any movement requires a road permit and humanitarian actors can process such permits via their security teams/advisors.
  • Road conditions inside the country are variable due to conflict across many areas. The trucking route Aden to Sanaa is often following a longer route to avoid conflict areas. There are many official and unofficial check-points along roads controlled by security forces. Random cargo and physical inspections are to be expected. Prior to truck departure, truck, driver and cargo information need to be communicated to the checkpoints on the routes

Customs & Imports

  • NGO’s and humanitarian agencies are exempted on customs duties but to avail of this, there is an exemption certificate procedure which typically takes 14-21 days
  • Alternative methods may involve getting cargo released based on a letter of undertaking & guarantee with the exemption certificate provided at latter date
  • Customs usual working hours are 0800-1300 with half-day Thursday and Friday holiday
  • Documents required to process duty exemptions include: Original AWB/BOL, packing list, commercial invoice (endorsed by commercial chamber/Yemen Embassy), certificate of origin (again endorsed by commercial chamber/Yemen Embassy), Exemption Duty document