Leading humanitarian agencies warn that their life-saving assistance is at risk of collapsing in Yemen

Wednesday 6 May 2015


Leading humanitarian agencies warn that their life-saving  assistance  is at risk of collapsing  in Yemen



After more than a month of heavy fighting in Yemen, a group of 22 major aid agencies in Yemen have warned today their life-saving assistance risk coming to an abrupt end within a week unless land, sea and air routes are opened immediately for the importation of fuel.




“We could run out of fuel within days” said Hajir Maalim, Action Against Hunger (ACF) country director “We need to operate  at least  three  vehicles  to bring  medical  staff  and supplies  to more  than  1,600  severely  undernourished children in Hodeida, in northern Yemen. If we cannot get more fuel within 10 days, these operations will cease and the lives of these children will be put at great risk. Children should not face death because of fuel shortages. It’s unacceptable.”




Even  before  the  latest  escalation  in  violence,  16  million  Yemenis  –  60%  of  the  population  –  were  in  need  of humanitarian  assistance  and 13 million – half the population  – did not have access to clean water and sanitation. Amid escalating violence, these humanitarian needs are now growing rapidly, in 2014 ten million people were food insecure, and recent estimates put this number closer to 20 million, representing 80% of the entire population.




“The fuel shortages in Yemen have reached critical levels. Without regular imports, it will soon become impossible for  us  to  deliver  life-saving  assistance  to  the  growing  numbers  in  need,”  informed  Edward  Santiago,  Save  the Children  Country  Director.  “We  have  managed  to  provide  life-saving  assistance  including  food  aid,  water  and sanitation, and medical supplies benefiting more than 50,000 people, including 21,000 children, since the conflict escalated, but we need to do more. We are extremely concerned as our fuel stocks are running low, while the needs are multiplying. Millions of lives are at risk, in particular children, and soon we will not be able to respond.”




Under normal circumstances, Yemen needs at least 144,000 barrels of oil per day to sustain its economy and infrastructure. The lack of fuel is directly contributing to the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. Entire communities are without water as local water supply systems also rely on fuel to pump ground water to the surface before it is treated. Medical facilities are stretched to the limit, with many closed and others unable to provide even basic services. The telecommunications  network will reportedly shut down within days.    Electricity is only on a few hours a day at best.




“An immediate  and permanent  end to the conflict  must be found now and land, sea and air routes  must be re- opened to allow basic commodities  like food, fuel and medical supplies to reach millions in desperate  need,” said Grace Ommer, Oxfam’s country director in Yemen.




With the situation  now at a critical  level, Yemen’s  INGO Forum are jointly calling  on all parties to the conflict  to urgently open land, sea and air routes in order to allow essential imports to immediately resume. The recent announcement  of a potential humanitarian pause to military operations will not alleviate the humanitarian  impacts of the current conflict, and INGO Forum members urge parties to the conflict to find an immediate and permanent end to the conflict.








For more information please contact: Kevin Dunbar - Yemen INGO Forum Coordinator


Mobile: +962 (0) 797 117 409


Email : kevin.dunbar@care.ca