UN States That In Houthi-Governed Areas Yemen Food Aid Gets Stolen

January 2, 2019

The UN World Food Program (WFP) has stated that vans carrying food for thousands of undernourished Yemenis were being stolen and sold in areas that are under the authority of the Houthi rebels. The WFP further stated that they are aware of the fact that the crucial aid supplies were being sold in different Houthi-controlled area including capital Sanaa. Moreover, the rations were also sold to those who were not supposed to receive it.

The food assistance branch of the UN stated that after learning that the humanitarian food was being openly sold in the markets of Saana, they also received reports of the entitled recipients not receiving their food aid. It also came to know that one local organization that has links with the Houthi Ministry of Education was behind this double-dealing.

WFP’s Executive Director David Beasley stated that this behavior is almost like stealing food from the mouth of the hungry people. He added that at a moment when children are dying due to lack of food, this incident is a sheer disgust. This kind of criminal conduct should be stopped instantly.

In response to the allegations made by the WFP, a Houthi official conveyed deep regret on the matter and stated that it wasn’t in line with their practices. Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the head of the Houthis’ Supreme Revolutionary Committee, stated that they are highly surprised by the allegation as it doesn’t come with any kind of evidence. Hence, they hail the creation of independent committees in order to probe the matter and breach.

WFP stated that they have photographic images of trucks illicitly removing food from the allotted food distribution centers.

Yemen’s war and the resulting economic slump have left 15.9 million people, which almost 53% of the population, going through severe food crisis. A survey showed that Yemeni people might face in case immediate action wasn’t taken.

Herve Verhoosel, a spokesperson of WFP in Geneva, mentioned that WFP was looking at the likelihood of dispensing cash to the needy, in case biometric identification system could be started, which would include personal data like iris scans and finger prints.

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