Stealing of the Yemeni Food Aid by the Houthis Is a Small Part of a Serious Issue

January 4, 2019

A few days back it was reported that from the Houthi-governed areas, food aid meant for the starving Yemenis were being stolen from the food trucks. The UN World Food Program (WFP) had alleged that Houthi rebels were openly selling these food aids in various areas, which includes the capital Sanaa.

According to some officials, the larceny of food aid in Yemen by Houthi rebels forms a small part of bigger issues, as question over international relief efforts in the nation destroyed by famine and war crops up. It has appeared that aid officers were well-aware of the issue that armed militia, especially Houthi rebels have been diverting food aid for months into the crucial areas under their control. They even manipulated the data obtained during malnutrition surveys by the UN.

Officials acknowledge that they face problem in approaching many areas in Yemen under the control of Houthi, and aid agencies’ depend on Houthi officers to collect much of the hunger data, have left them susceptible to deceit.

The accusation comes in the middle of a feeble truce between the Saudi-led group that supports the official government, and Houthi militia, in a battle that has left over 16 million people experiencing acute food insecurity.

The latest assertion goes a long way for explaining the utter discrepancy in the UN’s official famine data for Yemen in comparison to assessments offered by other international aid groups, which have been cautioning that the nation is going through a serious crisis. After an investigation, the WFP admitted that the food aids were stolen from trucks and many entitled people were not receiving the food ration. The UN agency even stated that another matter which got discovered was that a local partner organization assigned by the WFP for distributing food ration was behind the fraud.

Other agencies working in Yemen were cautioning that they are assuming a bigger aid diversion might be happening, escalating serious questions over the capability and susceptibility of the UN’s famine early-warning process known as the Integrated Phase Classification system.

For the benefit of Houthi-governed areas and to the disadvantage of undernourished civilians of the nation IPC might have been manipulated. The searing assessment follows frequently voiced concerns over finagle of food delivery to malnourished Yemenis by both of parties of the conflict.

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