Statement by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen on the importance of making fuel available in Yemen.
NEW YORK, USA – The Special Envoy of the secretary-general for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, is deeply concerned by the major fuel shortages in Ansar-Allah controlled areas, and calls on the parties to work urgently with his Office to reach a solution that guarantees Yemenis’ access to their basic needs of fuel and oil derivatives and the use of associated revenues to pay civil servant salaries.
“Fuel shortages have devastating and widespread humanitarian consequences for the civilian population. Life in Yemen is unforgiving enough without forcing Yemenis to struggle even harder for their everyday needs that are connected to fuel such as clean water, electricity and transportation. The flow of essential commercial imports, including of food, fuel and medical supplies, and their distribution to the civilian population across the country must be ensured,” said the Special Envoy.
“We have had detailed discussions with both Parties to reach a solution that guarantees meeting the critical and urgent priorities of ensuring Yemenis’ ability to receive the fuel and oil derivatives they need through the Hudaydah port, and the use of associated revenues to pay the salaries of public sector employees. I urge the Parties to engage constructively, urgently, in good faith and with no preconditions with the efforts of my Office in that regard,” Griffiths added.
The Office of the Special Envoy has consistently worked to support the Parties in finding agreements to ensure the continued and regular flow of commercial imports of fuel into Yemen through Hudaydah port and to put associated revenues toward paying the salaries of civil servants. In Stockholm, in December 2018, the Office of the Special Envoy facilitated talks between the Parties to reach the Hudaydah Agreement.
Following acute fuel shortages in the Autumn of 2019, the Office of the Special Envoy facilitated the Parties’ agreement to the Temporary Arrangements in November 2019. The Temporary Arrangements successfully allowed for the entry of an estimated 72 ships carrying over 1.3 million tons of commercial fuel imports into Hudaydah port from November 2019 until April 2020.
The government of Yemen has issued clearances for several fuel ships to enter through Hudaydah port since the suspension of the Temporary Arrangements. This is a step in the right direction; however, more actions are needed to meet the needs of the population and to ensure their access to fuel.
Since the suspension of the Temporary Arrangements, the Office of the Special Envoy has been actively engaging with the Parties to find an urgent solution that would ensure the continued flow of commercial imports of fuel into Yemen through Hudaydah port, and the use of associated revenues to pay civil servant salaries based on the 2014 civil servants’ database.
The Office of the Special Envoy has also made several attempts to convene the Parties to discuss the terms of a disbursement mechanism for putting the revenues from ships carrying oil derivatives through Hudaydah port toward the payment of civil servant salaries. However, to the Office’s regret, this meeting has not yet materialized. The Office renews its invitation to the Parties to convene this meeting as soon as possible.