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How Houthi militias have been plundering food from UN aid agencies

The Houthis also confiscated $57 mln in funds from private companies and institutions and gave them to their militants. (File photo: AP)

Houthi militias have issued a decision to suspend the work of 36 international, Arab and local relief organizations working in the health field in all areas under its control across Yemen.

According to aid workers’ reports, the Houthi militia punishes any international or UN relief organization that does not bow to its pressure and guidance to stop its support and prevent it from carrying out its humanitarian duty to millions of Yemenis who have been suffering from extremely difficult humanitarian conditions since the coup.

Abdulaziz Al-Dailami, appointed by the militias as Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, went so far in instructing all health offices in the directorates and governorates under Houthi control to stop the work of 36 international aid organizations claiming that these organizations do not operate under the supervision of the Ministry of Health, and function independently.

He said in a memo that only under the militia’s authorization can they carry their missions.

This claim is issued to justify the militia’s looting of aid and relief supplies and to deprive those eligible to receive it in order to finance what it calls the war effort.

Obstructing aid

The obstruction of humanitarian aid is a serious crime prohibited globally in accordance with international conventions and laws.

According to UN reports, the organizations are using a lot of their financial officials and aid distribution Houthi officials who receive about $1,000 a month, (450 thousand Yemeni riyals) to submit the lists of the needy.

Observers from within the capital say that these employees register names of Houthi elements or their associates only and then after receiving the aid such as oil, sugar, flour and canned goods, they sell it to the wholesale shops of food in Sanaa.

The Houthis also confiscated $57 mln in funds from private companies and institutions and gave them to their militants claiming that the funders obstruct their work in Sanaa.

A report issued by the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Action, reported that the Houthi militia committed various attacks targeting the United Nations’ aid organizations and relief organizations as well as workers between 2015 and 2017.

The attacks amounted to 16 cases, ranging from murders, kidnappings, imprisonment and closure of offices, plunder attacks, and seizing 65 vessels, 124 relief convoys and 628 aid shipments.

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Last Update: Tuesday, 23 January 2018 KSA 21:19 - GMT 18:19
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