Houthi militia authorities have hiked the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders, otherwise known as cooking gas, in areas under their control, locals reported to Asharq Al-Awsat.
Today, buying a gas canister in the Houthi-run Yemeni capital, Sanaa, is 180% more expensive than in the nearby government-controlled governorate of Marib.
The sharp increase in prices triggered a shortage crisis at a time international reports are warning that an estimated 20 million Yemenis might not be able to secure their meals this Ramadan.
“Millions of those living under militia rule, since last Saturday, have been struggling with a cooking gas shortage coupled with hiked prices of available supplies,” Sanaa-based sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“Many residents suspect that Houthis are behind the shortage,” sources added, explaining that the militia could exploit the crisis to sell its supply for inflated rates on the black market.
A few days ago Houthi officials managing the distribution of cooking gas in areas under the Iran-backed group’s control deliberately froze the delivery of supplies to all Sanaa’s districts and neighborhoods.
This forced many families who are observing the advent of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting, to resort to black market vendors to buy the supply of gas at doubled prices.
Other than the gas crisis, Sanaa is also witnessing a crippling fuel crisis with supplies disappearing from official stations.
The Houthi-monopolized black market, on the other hand, has been thriving off selling large supplies of fuel and gas byproducts at steep prices, locals complained.
“Yemenis are sure that Houthis stand to gain the most from crises they create,” a civil servant of the education sector in Houthi-run areas, who requested anonymity, told Asharq Al-Awsat.
For Yemenis, the fuel and gas crises created by Houthis come to exacerbate the already huge struggle they are facing against a backdrop of poor economic and living conditions.