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Houthis Blackmail WFP to Implement Experimental Stage for Delivery of Cash Aid

Houthis Blackmail WFP to Implement Experimental Stage for Delivery of Cash Aid

Wednesday, 8 April, 2020 - 07:30
Convoy of UN and World Food Program crosses from Houthi-controlled areas to a government-controlled areas (File Photo: Reuters)
Aden - Ali Rabea

Houthis threatened the World Food Program to post videos that go against the UN agency, in an attempt to force it to kick off implementing the experimental stage for the delivery of the cash aid.

The group's leader, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi said in a tweet: "If the food program does not start the implementation of the experimental stage for the delivery of the cash and justified with flawed excuses, then the videos for these excuses may be downloaded and we show their agreement to the terms and the fact that the problems they hinder the implementation of the experimental stage of the cash It out. "

Over the past few years, the international program has become weary of the group's efforts to hinder humanitarian access to needy areas. It also accused the group’s leaders of attempting to transfer aid to their followers.

Houthi’s tweet reveals the group’s fear of public anger over the stalling of international aid, which it hopes would cover salary payments to its employees.

Houthis announced that WFP will begin disbursing cash in Sanaa last March, however, other obstacles imposed by the group have hindered the process.

The WFP said previously that there have been repeated obstacles placed in the way of its selection of beneficiaries, adding that it had been trying for months to launch a scheme to register recipients in Houthi-held areas.

Donors fear that a large part of the aid will be allocated to Houthi commanders’ accounts, as Western reports accused UN officials of corruption and collusion with the militias, saying the UN has launched several internal investigations into this matter.

For its part, the Yemeni government renewed its call to review the performance of UN humanitarian agencies operating in Houthi controlled areas.

Government statements said 30 percent of humanitarian aid goes to finance war efforts of the Houthi militia, rather than allocating them to aid millions of starving Yemenis who lack health care and basic services in areas controlled by the group.

Meanwhile, assistant-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Ramesh Rajasingham said in a briefing to the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Yemen, that over 30 major programs will reduce or start to close down by the end of April without additional funding.

Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Houthi members threatened WFP officials of destroying 175 tons of wheat sent by international organizations, claiming they are not suitable for human use.

The group assigned guards to the Program’s warehouses in Abs district where the largest number of displaced families reside in Hajjah governorate.

In Taiz, the group recently seized and burned 160 tons of wheat, claiming they were damaged, which was strongly criticized by the legitimate government.

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