SANA’A, May 07 (Saba) – The humanitarian agencies in Yemen have warned that life-saving aid are about to run out next week after a month of the land, sea and air siege imposed by the Saudi-led coalition.
In a statement received by Saba, 17 humanitarian agencies and organizations confirmed the need to open the land, sea and air routes immediately to import the fuel.
“We are about to lose fuel stocks within days and this may hinder our work in the field,” said Hajir Maalim, director of Action Against Hunger / Action contre la Faim (ACF).
“We operate three cars at least for transporting medical staff and supplies to more than 1,600 children suffering from acute malnutrition in Hodeidah province in North Yemen and if we can not get more fuel within 10 days these activities will stop and the lives of children may be exposed to danger and death due to lack of fuel,” Maalim elaborated.
He added the humanitarian situation in Yemen is getting worse, as about 16 million Yemenis (60 percent of the population in Yemen) are lacking humanitarian aid and 13 million or half of the population in Yemen suffer from the difficulty of access to clean water and good sanitation, pointing out that these humanitarian needs are currently increasing with indescribable speed.
Maalim pointed out that the 2014 estimates show that ten million people were suffering from a shortage and lack of basic foodstuffs and that these statistics have doubled because of the current conflict to reach about 20 million people, equivalent to 80 percent of the total population in Yemen.
Director of Save the Children in Yemen Eduardo Santiago confirmed that the fuel shortage in Yemen reached sensitive stages, warning that in the absence of fuel importations it would be impossible for humanitarian organizations to provide humanitarian services to save the lives of those affected by the current violence in Yemen.
“Millions of lives in Yemen are at risk, especially children and soon we will not be able to respond to their needs,” Santiago said, indicating that under normal circumstances Yemen needs at least more than 144 thousand barrels of oil a day to preserve its economy and infrastructure.
"The lack of fuel is causing now a humanitarian disaster in Yemen, where there are entire communities without water because of the water supply systems also rely on fuel to pump groundwater to the surface before it can be handled and treated and purified," Santiago explained.
He continued to say “The medical facilities also consumed large amounts of fuel to work and the lack of fuel led to the closure of some of them and many of them are not even able to provide basic services to patients and emergency cases, and there is a communiqué reported that the communication network will be closed within days and the electricity in only available for a few hours work a day at best.”
Oxfam’s country director in Yemen Grace Ommer stressed the need to find a way for an immediate and permanent cessation of the aggression in Yemen and reopening of the land, sea and air lines to allow the basic goods such as food, fuel and medical supplies to access millions of Yemenis who are in dire need of such aid.
In this regard, the International Non-Government Organizations Forum in Yemen appealed for opening the land, sea and air routes expeditiously to allow basic materials to enter the country immediately.
The forum pointed out that the recent announcement on carrying out a humanitarian stance to provide humanitarian aid is not enough to mitigate the humanitarian consequences of the current conflict, stressing the need to find an immediate and permanent solution to the conflict.