New York (GPA) – The Saudis are blocking Yemen aid by refusing to fuel UN planes in the region according to UNDP.
Under current agreements, the UN is supposed to be flying two planes of aid supplies into Sana’a every day. The move is currently being blocked by the actions of Saudi Arabia and their puppet government in Yemen.
The two UN planes are currently stuck in Sana’a after arriving from Jordan and Djibouti. The plan for the two planes was to return to these two countries but they currently don’t have enough fuel to do that.
The Saudis, despite agreeing to UN aid flows are 100% responsible for this chain of events due to their flat out refusal to refuel both planes. The fuel needed could easily be supplied via truck to Sana’a but the Saudi coalition backed authorities in the port city of Aden currently refuse to let this happen.
This atrocity was first brought to light yesterday when UN Development Program’s (UNDP) director for Yemen, Auke Lootsma, spoke to reporters on a video call from Sana’a. Based on Lootsma’s statement that “We have difficulties obtaining permission from the coalition and from the government of Yemen to transport this jet fuel to Sana’a to facilitate these flights,” its clear that this is a direct malicious decision by the Saudis.
Lootsma also told reporters that the situation in Sana’a was “very bleak” with “no end in sight.” He was also asked why he thought the fuel deliveries were being blocked but only answered: “It’s a good question. I don’t have an answer.”
Currently, around 70% of the 27 million people in Yemen are dependent on this aid. There is also around 14.5 million with no access to clean water and over 7 million on the brink of famine.
The areas hardest hit by famine and most dependent on foreign aid are also the hotspots of the current cholera epidemic in Yemen. Yemen’s water filtration systems need fuel to operate. And just last week, Saudi authorities at the crucial Hodeidah port prohibited 4 oil tankers from entering.
While some outlets recently reported that the Saudis donated $33m to fight the cholera outbreak they failed to elaborate on the facts that even the UN says the Saudi air campaign is the root of this problem.
Over half of Yemen’s medical facilities have been destroyed since the war started; which – call this crazy but – obviously would lead to outbreaks of preventable illnesses.
Lootsma also expressed concern in his call yesterday that he’s seeing an increased number of Yemeni patients being admitted to hospitals for meningitis. This should be a cause for concern and is just another outrage perpetrated on Yemen; which still has an estimated million children vulnerable to the cholera outbreak according to a new report today from Save The Children.
Oh, and who did the Saudis actually donate that money to?
The UN’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF), i.e. an arm of the organization whose planes are trapped in Sana’a.
James Carey is an organizer based in Detroit, Michigan, founder of Geopolitics Alert, and an experienced analyst on Middle Eastern affairs with a particular focus on Turkey. He also covers topics ranging from Latin America and Asia to Europe. You can also hear James in his weekly podcast; The Left is Dead which he co-hosts with investigative journalist Jake Anderson.