Yemen’s cities running out of fuel and clean water in ‘imminent catastrophe,’ UN says

A Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemeni rebels eased an air, land, and sea blockade of Yemen a week ago, but it is still keeping commercial ships with food and fuel from docking and unloading their cargo in the country, putting millions at risk of starving, the United Nations said this weekend.

Millions of Yemenis depend on those supplies, and without fuel, health and water facilities can’t run. So Yemen’s cities are running out of clean water, the chiefs of several United Nations agencies and other top humanitarian officials said in a statement Saturday.

“Urban water networks in seven cities have run out of fuel and now depend on humanitarian organizations to fill in the gap,” the officials said. “Other cities will shortly be in a similar situation if the blockade is not lifted, which would leave 11 million people without safe water.”

A lack of commercial imports coming through Yemen’s Red Sea ports could push three million more people into starvation, they said.

Mohammed Mohammed/Xinhua via Newscom
Children distribute free bread to people at a center financed by rich people and merchants in Sana’a, Yemen, Nov. 12, 2017.

“This imminent catastrophe is entirely avoidable,” the officials said.

More broadly, they said, nearly 400,000 children in Yemen suffer from severe acute malnutrition and more than eight million Yemenis “could starve without urgent food assistance coming into Yemen,” they said.

The first flight carrying humanitarian aid landed in Sanaa last weekend following a nearly three-week-long blockade by the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels who have taken over much of Yemen, aid groups said. A ship carrying aid was able to dock a couple days later, and other shipments have made it through as well, the groups said.

Yahya Arhab/EPA
Yemeni children push a wheelbarrow with jerrycans filled with drinking water from a donated water pipe in Sana’a, Yemen, Nov. 18, 2017.

But continued restrictions on commercial food and fuel imports have devastated markets and driven up prices for millions of Yemenis who do not receive humanitarian aid, putting them at risk, aid groups said. Yemen imports nearly all of its food.

The lack of fuel would lead to a “new crisis” that would compound other issues, like lack of access to clean water, UNICEF’s representative in Yemen, Meritxell Relano, told ABC News. The average price of diesel in Yemen has risen 99 percent since September, and the average price of petrol had…

Read the full article from the Source…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *