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Houthis Loot Hodeidah’s Billions, Leave Residents Without Electricity

Houthis Loot Hodeidah’s Billions, Leave Residents Without Electricity

Monday, 13 June, 2022 - 08:00
Hodeidah port, Yemen (AFP)

Millions of Yemenis living in the Houthi-run Hodeidah governorate, which is experiencing long power outages and soaring temperatures, are experiencing miserable living and humanitarian conditions.

Severe heat waves are striking Hodeidah at a time when power cuts have reached more than 22 hours a day for the city's residents. Prominent Houthi leaders have been accused of looting about 21 billion riyals that were earmarked for electricity subsidies.

Yemenis said the Houthis, who have generated billions of Yemeni riyals in revenue from oil tankers entering Hodeidah’s port, were spending little to no money on addressing the intensifying power cuts or other basic services in the city.

Hodeidah residents reported that their suffering during this year’s summer heat was aggravated by the Houthi electricity cuts. The worsening situation is especially affecting the elderly and those with chronic diseases.

Residents talked about most families leaving their homes involuntarily and living temporarily in some streets and under trees to escape high temperatures.

Using the hashtag #Hodeidahisdying, people posted images of half-dressed men and children sleeping outdoors or on the roofs of their houses to escape the heat.

Activists accused the Houthi-appointed Hodeidah Governor Muhammad Qahim of being behind the looting of the Electricity Support Fund after handing over its management to the Houthi leader, Abdul Ghani al-Madani, in exchange for 60 million riyals he receives per month.

Residents in Hodeidah and officials said that looted money was transferred to Sanaa to fuel the Houthis’ military operations, leaving people in Hodeidah battling long power cuts during the hot weather.

Residents said electricity was available for three hours a day and the widespread cuts had affected all sectors, including hospitals where patients were dying due to the lack of air conditioning.

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