Member of the Supreme Political Council, Muhammad Ali Al-Houthi, sent a letter to the Director of the World Food Program, David Beasley, in response to the program’s decision to stop humanitarian aid to Yemen.
In the letter, Muhammad Ali Al-Houthi expressed his deep regret over the program’s decision to stop humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people, which constitutes a serious threat to the food and humanitarian security of Yemen.
He considered the Food Program stopping aid to Yemen as behavior that conflicts with its moral and humanitarian duties and amounts to a crime against humanity. He said, “Yemen is not just statistical data and numbers. It is a country living in a nightmare of destruction, poverty, and death.”
He added, “Children are dying of hunger, and mothers are searching for a living to feed their exhausted children, and all of this is the result of the illegal aggression and siege against our people and our country for more than eight and a half years.”
The senior political member called on the Food Program to reconsider the decision to stop humanitarian aid, reverse it and take the necessary measures to ensure the continued provision of humanitarian aid to deserving Yemenis without interruption or reduction.
He pointed out that reducing aid will exacerbate the humanitarian crisis and increase the suffering of millions of Yemenis. He said, “As you know, Yemen is suffering from the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, as more than 20 million people suffer from acute food insecurity, including more than 12.” One million people are on the brink of famine.
He added, “The decision has been justified as a result of the funding constraints faced by the Food Programme, but we believe that there are other options that can be taken to avoid stopping humanitarian aid. It is possible, for example, to convert in-kind aid to cash, this will save operating expenses, and will allow the beneficiaries to use the aid to purchase the food they need.”
He stated that the Food Program can ask donor countries to increase funding, which will allow it to provide humanitarian aid to Yemen without the need to reduce or stop it.
In the letter, Muhammad Ali Al-Houthi touched on the results of his meeting with the Regional Director of the World Food Programme, Corinne Fleischer, and the program’s resident representative, Richard Ragan, who explained the program’s intention to reduce humanitarian aid to Yemen.
He pointed out that during the meeting, the categorical rejection of agreeing to reduce humanitarian aid was emphasized, because it is a commitment from the World Food Program to the deserving beneficiaries.
He said, “During our meeting with the Regional Directorate of the Food Program and the Program’s Resident Representative, we emphasized that the right thing is for humanitarian aid to increase, not to reduce it, as the United Nations announced that Yemen is witnessing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.”
He stated that it was pointed out that the program’s decision to reduce the aid allocated to Yemen resulted from the fact that it was transferring it to Ukraine at the request of the United States, at the expense of the needy Yemeni people, and it was emphasized that the current beneficiaries of the relief were registered in accordance with the standards of the United Nations and the Food Programme, the state of aggression and siege still exists.
He added, “We also confirmed that the Food Program or other organizations did not work to empower the beneficiary and improve his situation such that the criteria for eligibility for assistance no longer apply to him, and that the problem of middle-income people who were relying on salaries has not yet been resolved by disbursing salaries, and that some of them are included in the program’s lists.”
Muhammad Ali Al-Houthi indicated his emphasis during the meeting that registering or removing a beneficiary is not a state of mind but is subject to standards, and that it is not possible to agree to reduce aid as it is a commitment from the Food Program to the deserving beneficiaries, and the program must invite everyone who wants to reduce its assistance and negotiate with them, and if the beneficiaries agree by excluding them, they sign deportation.
He added, “During the meeting, we reaffirmed that the program’s delivery of cash aid instead of in-kind will save it the cost of logistical work, deal profits, rent, and other expenses. Thus, it will add new aid delivered to the beneficiaries, and thus it will not need to be reduced.”