Water Crisis in Yemen Deepening Amid Severe Fuel Shortages: UNICEF
Recent restrictions on imports of fuel to Yemen have sparked critical shortages and price hikes across the country, severely impacting access to safe water and other vital services for children including health care and sanitation.
The cuts are the latest challenge to containing Yemen’s acute watery diarrhea and cholera outbreak.
“This could not come at a worse time for the children of Yemen reeling from violence, malnutrition and an outbreak of diseases including acute watery diarrhea and cholera.” The cost of diesel fuel has doubled in just over one month, jeopardizing the provision of water, particularly for the poorest families.
Water pumping stations serving over 3 million people via public networks in 14 cities are quickly running out of fuel.
Prices of commercially trucked water – a main source for one fifth of Yemen’s population have skyrocketed.
On average, they have doubled while in some locations they increased six-fold.
“For over two thirds of Yemenis living in extreme poverty, safe water is now completely unaffordable,” added Cappelaere.
Over 385,000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition and are fighting for their lives.
UNICEF is providing nearly 450,000 litres of fuel monthly to continue running water pumping stations in Sana’a, Hodeida and Hajjah, among other cities across the country.
“Restrictions on humanitarian assistance and imports of lifesaving supplies must urgently be lifted to avoid Yemen spiraling even further into the abyss,” said Cappelaere.