World Food Program threatens to suspend aid in Yemen’s rebel areas because of “misappropriations”

Yemen
Southern Resistance fighters flash the victory sign at the international airport of Yemen's southern port city of Aden, July 14, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has threatened to halt the distribution of food in the Houthi rebel control areas because of fears of “misappropriation” and lack of aid to its owners, according to a letter seen by AFP.

The warning message was addressed by WFP Executive Director David Paisley to the head of the “Supreme Political Council” of the rebels Mehdi al-Mashat, the highest political official of the Houthis, on May 6.

“The message is correct and has been edited by the World Food Program,” a WFP spokesman in Geneva told AFP on Monday, noting that this was the second such message after a first letter in December.

“The World Food Program (WFP) has made progress after the first letter,” he said. “But progress has been stalled over the last few weeks.

In December, WFP’s Executive Director expressed “deep concern over the misappropriation and diversion of food aid in the rebel-held areas of Yemen.”

According to Beasley, the rebel leadership “has taken positive steps towards implementing higher accountability standards to ensure that important food aid reaches the most needy people, the key to which has been the agreements signed in late December and mid-January on the re-selection of beneficiaries And fingerprint recording”.

But Paisley pointed out that in recent weeks, “progress has stopped where elements of the Ansar Allah movement (the political wing of the rebels) new demands undermine the signed agreements,” stressing the need to work independently and choose the beneficiaries himself.

The WFP Executive Director called on Houthi to “abide by the agreements,” warning that if the beneficiary selection system and the fingerprint were not implemented as agreed, WFP would “only have to suspend the distribution of food in areas under the control of Ansar Allah”.

Since 2014, Yemen has been waging a war between Houthi rebels and forces loyal to the recognized President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, which escalated in March 2015 as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened at the head of the military alliance in support of government forces.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, including a large number of civilians, according to various humanitarian organizations, while millions of people face the threat of famine.

There are still 3.3 million displaced people, while 24.1 million people, more than two thirds of the population, need assistance, according to the United Nations, which describes the humanitarian crisis in Yemen as the worst in the world today.

I urge you to use your influence to allow us to move forward for the good people of Yemen, especially in these good days, “said Beazley in his letter,” I know that you are aware of the seriousness of the situation and I know that you are keen on children and families that need help.

AFP did not receive an immediate response from rebel officials as to the content of the letter.

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