The Ministry of Public Health and Population warns that its health facilities will soon cease to provide health services during the next few days due to the depletion of oil derivatives necessary to operate the various medical appliances and equipment, especially those needed for ICU, dialysis, radiology, laboratories and oxygen factories.
The Ministry of Oil and Minerals warned and rang alarm bells that its reserves of oil derivatives would soon run out, and a stifling humanitarian crisis would take place in case the countries of War Coalition against Yemen, led by the US, KSA and UAE, continued to detain oil derivatives ships and prevent their entry to the port of Hodeidah.
For five and a half years, Yemen has been subjected to an unjust military war by the War Coalition countries that devastated life in it and destroyed everything needed for the life of millions of Yemenis. In addition, they imposed an economic war accompanied with a sea, land and air blockade, putting arbitrary restrictions that prevented the entry of medicine, food, and oil derivatives. All of these have led to exasperating the humanitarian situation in Yemen, and creating a tragic humanitarian catastrophe that has no parallel in the modern world.
The countries of War Coalition against Yemen have adopted a policy of starvation, systematic blockade and crises making as a means of war to kill more Yemeni people, in full view of the UN and humanitarian organizations, whose course of action has been diverted. Their role has been confined merely to reporting the numbers and rates of people in need of aid and relief and stating warning indicators that Yemen is sliding into the danger phase, poverty line and famine.
The UN and its Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, did not provide any solutions to the catastrophic humanitarian situation resulting from the detention of oil derivatives ships which are not allowed to reach Hodeidah port to unload their cargo. Instead, the UN focused its efforts on bartering the release of the oil derivatives ships in exchange for stopping the payment of half of the salary to civil servants by the National Salvation Government in Sana’a.
On August 18, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator warned Security Council members of the devastating effects that the shortage of humanitarian funding is having on relief operations in Yemen. He also briefed the Security Council that the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) was 21 percent funded, only 3 percent up on the previous month, the lowest figure ever seen in Yemen by the end of the year.
The Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator stated that humanitarian partners have been unable to pay front-line health workers allocations or cover basic operating costs for health facilities amidst the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. Besides, health facilities providing care to 1.8 million people have been closed and food aids were reduced to 8 million people, while famine is stalking Yemen.
He stressed that if the humanitarian response plan for Yemen is not funded, water and sanitation programs will be reduced by 50 percent in 15 governorates. In September, support for 400 other health facilities will be cut off, preventing 9 million people from receiving medical care. In addition, treatment for more than a quarter of a million severely malnourished children will stop – children who will die without any humanitarian assistance.
The Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator indicated also that pledges made at the Donors’ Conference at the beginning of June remain unpaid. Only half of the $ 1.35 billion pledged has been received. He urged the Gulf states to pay their pledges and called on countries that did not pledge any amounts, or pledged amounts less than last year, to increase their support.
The oil derivatives crisis in the northern governorates continues to raise the costs of basic materials, health care services, and the transport of people, goods and materials. By the end of August, the average price of fuel in the informal market was about 12,000 Yemeni riyals (approximately US $ 20) for 20 liters in all northern governorates, i.e. less than it had been recently. However, it remains twice the average official rate (5,900 Yemeni riyals), i.e. less than US $10. Fuel high prices and its scarcity have greatly impeded humanitarian operations, affecting hundreds of thousands of families negatively.
The actions of UN and its humanitarian organizations have led to reducing or postponing water pumping services, water trucking and food distribution operations; delaying and postponing field visits, rapid response mechanism deployments and verifications; delaying and postponing shelter aid, verification of non-food beneficiaries, and distribution of aid; cessation of mobile clinics for nutritional aid; cessation of sewage vacuum truck services; suspension of school rehabilitation projects; reducing reproductive health activities; closing safe spaces; and reducing activities in community centers. All these have caused a severe humanitarian crisis for millions of Yemenis.
During the month of August, Yemen witnessed the displacement of more than 300,000 people due to the torrents and floods – caused by heavy rains – that damaged their homes, agricultural crops, livestock, food supplies and their private properties during the last three months. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warned of the growing humanitarian needs in Yemen, which suffers from the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
Yemen lacks many screening and reporting facilities for COVID-19 pandemic. This has led people to delay seeking treatment due to the lack of necessary COVID-19 Test, which was prevented by the countries of War Coalition against Yemen. It also led to severe shortage of funding for health workers and personal protective equipment, and long delay in importing medicines for this pandemic. All this have made it difficult for suspected COVID-19 patients to access centers of treatment and perceived risks for seeking care.