UN warns of fuel shortages in Yemen
Yemeni children walk past burning rubbish in the country's capital Sanaa, April 29, 2015. (AFP/File)
The United Nations chief has warned that a dire shortage of fuel in Yemen may bring all relief operations to a halt as Saudi Arabia’s continues air attacks on the country.
Ban Ki-moon warned Thursday that the aid and relief operation could be stopped “within days” if the delivery of fuel is not immediately restored.
“Humanitarian operations will end within days unless fuel supplies are restored,” Ban said in a statement, urging an “immediate resumption of fuel imports to avoid making the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Yemen even worse.”
The fuel shortage has already left its impact on the distribution of aid to the affected Yemeni people, with the World Food Program (WFP) saying earlier that it was halting its delivery of food aid to the needy across Yemen.
The WFP said severe shortage of fuel forced it to stop its distribution of food supplies already in its warehouses. The agency said that it urgently needs more than 200,000 liters of fuel to be able to proceed with the delivery of the existing supply which it said could feed at least 1.5 million people for one month.
There has been an effective blockade on Yemen during the ongoing Saudi Arabia’s aggression, with airports being closed to civilian traffic and naval shipments experiencing numerous delays.
Thousands of Yemenis who have been affected by the violence are deprived of food, medicine and fuel due to the blockade.
Ban said there must be an immediate ceasefire, or at least, a humanitarian pauses in areas affected by the violence to make it possible to help those in need.