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U.N. envoy: Yemen civilians need 'urgent' end to fuel shortages

U.N. envoy: Yemen civilians need 'urgent' end to fuel shortages
Yemenis walk among the graves of victims of the nation's prolonged civil war, which began in 2014, in Sanaa, Yemen, on June 23. File Photo by Yahya Arhab/EPA-EFE

Aug. 31 (UPI) -- A top United Nations envoy to Yemen asked Monday for an end to the fighting and an "urgent" solution for fuel shortages in Houthi-controlled areas.

The shortages have led to high fuel costs, long lines at gas stations and inflated costs for water, transport and other goods, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

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Martin Griffiths, the Yemen envoy for Secretary-general Antonio Guterres, said ending the fuel shortages would ensure Yemenis can access basic supplies and allow them to pay civil servants.

The fuel shortages have exacerbated the humanitarian crisis caused by Yemen's civil war, which for years has seen fighting between the Saudi-backed pro-government forces and the rebel Houthi movement.

The civil war has been going for six years.

"Fuel shortages have devastating widespread humanitarian consequences for the civilian population," Griffiths added. "Life in Yemen is unforgiving enough without forcing Yemenis to struggle even harder for their everyday needs."

Griffiths has previously facilitated talks for a regular flow of fuel into Yemen. In 2018, he helped broker the Hudaydah agreement.

The United Nations considers Yemen's humanitarian crisis the worst anywhere in the world. Six years of conflict have led to disease, economic collapse and left roughly 80% of Yemenis in need of some form of humanitarian assistance.

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