The Health Sector
- The continued full closure of Sana’a International Airport has had a great impact on the health sector, which prevented the Ministry of Public Health and Population from bringing medical teams to Yemen through Sana’a International Airport to save the lives of dozens of patients who cannot afford treatment abroad. In addition, the countries of the Saudi-led War Coalition attracted about 70% of the medical staff by using the propaganda of the National Salvation Government’s failure to pay their salaries as a justification for that.
- The Ministry of Public Health and Population confirms that the number of cases of tumors and fetal malformations is on the rise, topping the list of diseases in Yemen. Meanwhile, the Ministry attributed the reason for this to the impacts of the explosion of bombs and ammunition loaded with toxic substances during the previous years. Moreover, these diseases are widely spread due to the siege, which has been preventing the entry and arrival of quality medical equipment and refrigerated medicines through Sana’a airport, as they cannot be transported through land or seaports.
The Educational Sector
- With the advent of the new school year in Yemen 1444 AH/2022 AD, the education sector is still facing a severe crisis in education, due to the interruption of teachers’ salaries, hundreds of destroyed schools, and the insufficient number of teachers working in the field. As a result, hundreds of thousands of students dropped out of their schools.
- The war on Yemen and the ongoing disruption of the educational process have had a profound impact on learning, general cognitive and emotional development, and the mental health of 10.6 million school-age children in Yemen. In addition, more than 3,768 schools (at least one in every 4 schools) were destroyed or damaged.
- The educational sector faces further obstacles in the sense that more than two-thirds of the teachers – approximately 172 thousand teachers – have not regularly received their salaries since 2016, forcing a number of them to stop teaching and search for other income-generating jobs.
FSO Safer Oil Tanker in Yemen
- About 20 human rights and humanitarian organizations in Yemen sent an open letter to the United States, Britain, the European Union countries, and other UN donor countries, appealing to them to take moves in the maintenance of the “FSO Safer” oil tanker to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe. They also called for immediate support for this operation to prevent the leakage of hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil from the supertanker anchored off the Yemen’s Red Sea coast.
- The United Nations organizations and all the countries of the world have warned that FSO “Safer” supertanker anchored 32 nautical miles from the main port of Hodeidah could break up or explode at any time, unleashing a humanitarian and ecological catastrophe. In fact, this decaying supertanker is holding about 1.14 million barrels of light crude oil – four times the amount of oil spilled from the Exxon Valdez in Alaska in 1989. This is enough to make FSO “Safer” tanker the fifth largest oil spill in history.
- SAFER Exploration and Production Operations Company (SEPOC) indicated that it has not been able to carry out any maintenance operations on the ship since 2015. Thus, the ingress of seawater into the engine compartment of the supertanker in May 2020 caused the tanker to corrode. This has increased the company’s concerns over the possibility of an oil spill or explosion.
- On 5 March 2022, the National Salvation Government in Sana’a signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations to approve the facilitation of a two-track plan coordinated by the United Nations to prevent a disaster that might be caused by FSO Safer tanker. The first step is to transfer oil from the supertanker FSO Safer to another secure vessel. This emergency operation will take four months and will cost $80 million. The second track includes an installation of a long-term replacement vessel or other capacity equivalent to the FSO Safer within a target 18 months. The UN’s two-track plan requires a total amount of $144 million.
- The United Nations has confirmed that the supertanker is at imminent risk of explosion because of the increased corrosion as a result of the lack of maintenance, describing it as a “time bomb.” The UN reports that with the necessary funding, it is ready to begin an emergency salvage operation that would transfer the oil to a secure vessel. On June 13, the UN announced that salvage operations could not begin due to insufficient funding. Again, the UN has warned that the emergency salvage operation will become even more dangerous by October as high winds and volatile currents increase in the Red Sea.
- Michael Page, the deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, confirmed that “the lack of urgency from governments has brought Yemen perilously close to a new humanitarian and environmental disaster.” “It’s incomprehensible that the UN is now reduced to crowdfunding $20 million when the potential damages could be a thousand times greater. Donors should immediately step up to address this looming risk,” Michael Page further explained.
- In July 2020, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned that an oil spill from the vessel could have a “serious, long-lasting environmental impact” on one of the most important repositories of biodiversity on the planet, possibly destroying coastal wetlands, mangroves, sea grass, and coral reefs for generations.
- The environmental destruction would have devastating long-term economic consequences for the approximately 28 million people in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt, and Djibouti, who rely on these areas for their livelihoods. Given that the FSO Safer is also located close to critical global shipping lanes, there are numerous other likely harmful economic consequences that would result from a spill.
- The oil spill could shut down Hodeidah’s port, affecting millions of Yemenis who depend on imports of food and other essential goods. Between 80% and 90% of the Yemeni population’s basic needs are delivered by commercial imports and aid, approximately 70% of which enter through Hodeidah.
Cluster Bombs and Explosive Mines
- During the UN-declared truce, the Executive Center for Mine Action (YEMAC) monitored the fall of dozens of casualties, mostly children and women, and held the Saudi-led coalition forces responsible, as they deliberately prevented the entry of detectors to clear cluster bombs and mines that were deployed on the widest scale by the Saudi-led Coalition warplanes and their mercenaries.
- The Executive Center for Mine Action (YEMAC) held the United Nations legally, morally and humanitarianly responsible, as it did not play a clear role in the humanitarian operation in Yemen, and for submitting to the conditions of the Saudi-led Coalition of war on Yemen. Furthermore, the Center stressed that the United Nations is involved in the killing of civilians and this is evidenced by its inability to introduce into Yemen the necessary equipment such as mines detectors and means of mines clearance, which do not pose any kind of danger to the Saudi-led Coalition or the military track. The Centre wondered: “How long this silence of the United Nations would continue?”