'SANA’A, YEMEN — Recent political developments have offered a glimmer of hope to some that the end of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen may be near. But a new report by the United Nations Development Programme shows that a recent tightening of the Saudi-led Coalition’s blockade against the country, and the fuel shortages it has sparked, not only are exacerbating Yemen’s humanitarian crisis but also are slated to make Yemen the world’s poorest country by 2022.
In the nursery at the Maternity and Childhood Hospital in Amran, doctors and families alike fear that fuel shortages will lead to power cuts, plunging the ward into darkness and rendering its life-saving machines inoperable. One mother in the ward diligently watches a heater placed near her infant, knowing that it the electricity-powered medical device stops, her child will die.
Dr. Hadi Al-Hamzi, the director-general of the hospital, said that 30 infants could die if their incubators stop for just two hours. He added, “We have a severe shortage of generator fuel, and we have no prospect of getting more in the coming days.” Mohammed Mujahed, the director of Amran Governorate’s Health Office, warned that intensive care for pregnant mothers and nurseries in the province could be stopped in a matter of hours if no generator fuel is secured.
The Saudi-led Coalition has stepped up its seizure and detention of ships carrying food and fuel into Yemen and the effects of those seizures are already being felt by ordinary people. Thousands of Yemenis already facing acute food shortages could die, as stocks of stored food dwindle and cannot be replenished. Sultana Begum, a representative of the Norwegian Refugee Council humanitarian organization, told Reuters that “fuel shortages in Yemen exacerbate the already dire humanitarian situation in the country and lead to unacceptable levels of suffering.”
For 40 days, the Coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, has continued to hold 13 ships loaded with oil derivatives at sea, preventing them from entering the port of Hodeida. The UN has already inspected and licensed the ships in compliance with a decision issued by the Saudi-backed Hadi government that requires customs duties to be paid in Aden before ships can discharge in Hodeida.'
Read more: Houthis Vow Retaliation As Saudi Naval Blockade Sparks Fresh Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen
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