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Fuel shortage caused by Saudi blockade adds to Yemen’s woes

This file photo shows Yemeni drivers waiting in line to refuel their cars at a gas station amid fuel shortages in the capital, Sana'a. (By AFP)

Mohammed al-Attab
Press TV, Sana'a

Yemenis have been forced to wait in long lines at gas stations for the third consecutive day amid a severe shortage of fuel. This comes despite the government’s guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Yemen’s Oil Ministry blamed the fuel crisis on the Saudi-led coalition, noting that Riyadh and its allies have prevented fuel tankers from entering Yemeni waters for nearly 70 days. This comes despite the UN's inspections of the tankers upon their arrival at the port of Djibouti.

The call was echoed by Yemen’s Health Ministry, which has been facing difficulty detecting and treating people infected with COVID-19 due to a shortage of testing kits. It says the fuel shortage is another challenge beside the severe shortage of medicines and vital healthcare equipment.

Much of Yemen's healthcare infrastructure has been devastated by the years-long Saudi war. According to the United Nations, only half of the country's medical centers are operating.

Over three thousand civilians have died due to cholera outbreaks in 2018 and 2019. Since the onset of the Saudi-led war, over 17,000 civilians have been killed in Saudi airstrikes on densely-populated areas.

Experts say Yemenis can't afford to fight on another front beside Saudi Arabia’s deadly war and its crippling blockade. Yemen’s severe fuel shortage and the growing threat of COVID-19 are feared to further deepen the humanitarian crisis in the war-weary country.

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