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Lack of fuel shutting down Yemen’s health facilities as Saudi siege tightens: Health Ministry

A patient, suffering from kidney failure, receives dialysis treatment at al-Thawra hospital in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, on June 30, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

The Saudi siege on Yemen is pushing all working health facilities in the impoverished Arab country toward total suspension due to the lack of fuel, the Health Ministry warns.

In a Sunday statement, carried by Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, spokesman of Yemen’s Ministry of Health Yousef al-Hadhri issued the warning, saying that Saudi Arabia had barred fuel vessels from reaching the port of Hudaydah for more than four months.

“A number of hospitals are expected to be shut down in the near future due to the oil derivatives crisis,” he said, adding, “International organizations do not pay serious attention to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and are only concerned with collecting funds.”

The Health Ministry’s spokesman also said that more than 400 governmental and private hospitals in Yemen suffer from the oil derivatives crisis.

Earlier, the health officials in the northwestern province of Hajjah announced that the provision of medical services at a major hospital in Khayran Muharraq district had stopped after fuel ran out.

Supported militarily by the US, the UK, and several other Western countries, Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 to crush a popular uprising that had overthrown a regime friendly to Riyadh.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) estimates that the Said war has claimed more than 100,000 lives in Yemen.

More than half of Yemen’s hospitals and clinics have been destroyed or closed during the war at a time when Yemenis are in desperate need of medical supplies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

At least 80 percent of the 28-million-strong population is also reliant on aid to survive in what the United Nations (UN) has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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