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WFP Food Aid for Yemen doesn’t reach needy because of obstructive, uncooperative Houthi leaders.
Houthi leadership seems to be responsible for waywardness in moving Food Supplies
According to Frances Kennedy, a spokesperson for the World Food Programme based in Rome, “our greatest challenge does not come from the guns, that are yet to fall silent in this conflict – instead, it is the obstructive and uncooperative role of some of the Houthi leaders in areas under their control.”
“Humanitarian workers in Yemen are being denied access to the hungry, aid convoys have been blocked, and local authorities have interfered with food distribution, and – most importantly, there have been repeated obstacles placed in the way of our independent selection of beneficiaries and a request for a roll out of a biometric registration system. This would allow WFP to identify and target the most hungry and ensure that they are the beneficiaries of food assistance, reads a statement from the UN food programme.
In 2019, WFP aims to feed around 12 million of the most vulnerable people – nearly half of the total Yemeni populations, at a cost to the international community around US$175 million a month. Already, many are not being reached because of the obstacles that are being put in our way. If we are not given the access and freedom to decide who gets this vital assistance, then we will have to take the hard decision of implementing a phased suspension of our operations in Houthi controlled areas. – WFP Frances Kennedy
The conflict in Yemen has thrown up multiple challenges but until now, WFP has worked with leaders to find solutions that have ensured food gets to the hungry. In 2017, WFP spoke out when the Saudi-led Coalition was delaying the movement of new cranes to the port in Hodeidah and mounting a blockade on the port that threatened the flow of aid to the hungry. The Coalition leaders listened and in time, the cranes were delivered and the port was reopened to aid.
“Earlier this month, WFP wrote to the Houthi leadership again, says Kenedy.
“This time we confirmed that WFP has reluctantly reached the conclusion that unless progress is made on previous agreements we will have to implement a phased suspension of aid.”
Since releasing this statement on Monday, subsequently, three hours ago, Frances Kennedy replied to questions noting in a text message there had been no change in the situation.