Houthis loot 65% of aid sent through Hodeida
Aden - Houthi militias kidnapped more than 25 relief workers and forcibly held in October 2018 around 51,000 tonnes of wheat meant for the Yemeni people.
Published: Sun 6 Jan 2019, 8:12 PM
Last updated: Sun 6 Jan 2019, 10:35 PM
The Houthi militia has seized and looted 65 per cent of the humanitarian aid sent for the people of Yemen through the port of Hodeida, according to Yemen Minister of Local Administration Abdul Raqeeb Fatah.
"Over the past three years, the Houthis have been showing a wilful disregard for the tough humanitarian circumstances being faced by the Yemeni people," the minister, who is also chairman of the Higher Committee for Relief, told Wam.
"Under the pretext of 'the war effort', the militias plundered and seized 697 relief trucks using the roads linking Hodeida to Sanaa, Ibb, Taiz, Hajjah, and Dhamar, as well as goods entering the governorates under their control," he added.
"In addition, they detained 88 vessels at Hodeida and As Saleef ports, 34 of which had relief goods that got spoiled after being held by the militias for more than six months," he said.
The minister urged international organisations to unify their efforts and bring a greater focus to their operations in Yemen, adopting a decentralised approach to ensure that the aid reaches eligible beneficiaries, taking into account the fact that they are operating in areas controlled by the Houthi militias.
He emphasised the importance of relief agencies having offices in Aden and of the need to open five administrative, relief centres in Aden, Sanaa, Mukalla, Tihama and Marib, in order to reduce the impact of Houthis' looting of aid and ensure a fair distribution of relief assistance throughout the country.
"The deplorable human conditions in Yemen are a natural result of the coup staged by the Houthis against the government and of their acts of depredations," he added.
"These have resulted in the triggering of the world's worst humanitarian crisis ... and pushing the country to the brink of starvation."
Commenting on a report from the World Food Programme (WFP) that accuses the Houthis of stealing humanitarian aid in Sanaa and other territories in their control, the Yemeni minister said the report has exposed the inhuman practices of the Houthis and their disregard for the Yemeni people.
Several Yemeni citizens told Wam about the sufferings imposed on them by the looting of aid by Houthis in the territories under their control.
"The Houthis are willfully pushing Yemen to the brink of starvation," Tarek Radwan said, while Sadeq Mohammed said: "Their malpractices reflect the grudge they hold against Yemen and its people."
Two other residents, Nasser Abdul Salam and Nabil Ali, said the Houthis should be held accountable for depriving the people of the food aid. They said the Houthis should be punished for their looting of aid, which, they said, had worsened the situation, especially for children, women and the elderly.
According to a statement issued by the Higher Committee for Relief, Houthi militias kidnapped more than 25 relief workers and forcibly held in October 2018 around 51,000 tonnes of wheat meant for the Yemeni people. They also detained four relief vessels in Hodeida and As Saleef ports, while in Marib they bombed four relief trucks from Saudi Arabia's King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, which were carrying aid for the needy people in Al Bayda governorate.