Yemen Fuel Shortage “Deadlier Than Bombs”

Yemen Fuel Shortage “Deadlier Than Bombs”
Yemen Fuel Shortage “Deadlier Than Bombs”

Fuel shortages in war-torn Yemen could cause more deaths than the continuing conflict, which rages on four days after the start of a United Nations-brokered humanitarian truce, international aid agency Oxfam said on Tuesday.

“In Yemen, fuel is critical,” Oxfam country director for Yemen Philippe Clerc said in a statement. “Without urgent action, shortages could kill more people than bullets or bombs.”

The lack of fuel, caused by fighting and restrictions on imports, has affected food deliveries, water supplies and health services for most of Yemen’s population, according to Oxfam, Reuters reported.

“Without adequate supplies of it, water pumps no longer operate, and the limited quantities of food and medicine in Yemen’s main ports and warehouses spoil, as they can’t be transported to the 21 million people in need of aid.”

A Saudi-led Arab coalition of Arab countries has been bombarding Yemen since late March to reinstate fugitive president Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who has fled to Riyadh.

Yemen previously imported the majority of its fuel and 90% of its food, most of it by sea, but the Saudi-led coalition has maintained a blockade on imports.

Since fighting intensified at the end of March, only one-fifth of the fuel needed across Yemen has entered the country, according to the UN humanitarian agency OCHA.

The lack of fuel has hit food and water supplies and left some 1.8 million children at risk of diarrhea, while 400,000 children could become severely malnourished, Oxfam said.

At least 120,000 children could die if not provided with clean water, adequate care and nutrition, the aid agency said.

More than 3,200 people have been killed and some 1.2 million uprooted within the country due to the fighting and airstrikes.