Investigation on the Stolen Food Aid Assigned For the Starving Yemenis

January 9, 2019

Even though on paper billions of dollars in food and foreign aid was coming to Yemen; yet, millions of Yemenis were still starving. In the war-ravaged nation, millions of Yemenis are living on the brink of facing a famine. Reports of organizational anarchy and food being stolen from the food trucks openly from the Houthi governed areas appeared as breaking news.

Nabil al Hakimi, a humanitarian official in Taiz stated that he learned about these things taking place in Taiz. In fact, there were no records of 5000 sacks of rice distributed without any record. Added to that, 705 baskets were looted from the warehouse of a welfare agency. The problem of food aid being stolen is a common thing in Taiz and other areas of Yemen that is controlled by Yemen’s internationally recognized government, which gets the backing of Saudi led military coalition. The condition is worse in Houthi controlled areas.

An investigation was carried out by an organization and it was revealed that even though a huge amount of food aid was entering the nation, it wasn’t reaching the people who are starving. Hence, it raised the question whether the agencies of the UN is capable to operate properly in Yemen.

After the publication of a report based on the agency’s probe on Monday, the United Nations’ World Food Program for the first time directly blamed the Houthi rebels of side triping aid. David Beasley, WFP director in a letter to the Houthis’ leader stated that if the militants did not probe and put an end to burglary, the organization would halt some relief, possibly affecting nearly 3 million people. He added that it’s like stealing food from the mouth of the hungry people.

The WFP in their own investigation report had found proof of trucks unlawfully removing food from alloted food distribution centers in Houthi-controlled sectors as well as committing fraud by a local food aid distributor associated with the Houthis’ Education Ministry. It stated that it got to know that many people in the Houthi-controlled capital, Sanaa, are not receiving food rations which they are supposed to get and in some areas hungry people have been denied food aid.

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