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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Sanaa - Asharq Al-Awsat

Houthis Accused of Looting Humanitarian Aid in Sanaa, Mahwit

Yemeni passes in front of a ship loaded with wheat in the port of Hodeidah (Reuters)

Yemeni sources accused the Houthi militia of seizing humanitarian aid intended for the displaced and the most vulnerable groups in Sanaa and al-Mahwit, and selling it in the markets.

The sources pointed out that Houthi leaders prevented hundreds of poor and displaced Yemeni families from obtaining their food aid. The group forcibly deducted half of the amount, allocated part for their followers, and sold the other part.

Beneficiaries in Sanaa told Asharq Al-Awsat that the humanitarian aid provided by international organizations is being publicly confiscated. They confirmed that they received only half of the allocated resources during the last distribution.

Mahdi A., a citizen of the Manakhah district in Sanaa, confirmed that the Houthi supervisors in charge of aid distribution deducted half of the food basket allocated to him and his family of eight.

He said the militias do not have the legal or human right to loot from every poor person half of his aid, which he and his family need.

He blamed the international organizations concerned with providing this aid, saying they always entrust the militias with distributing it.

Yemeni activists circulated pictures on social media showing militia followers selling quantities of the aid, including oil, sacks of wheat, and rice with the World Food Program logo.

Many merchants in the areas controlled by the militias confessed to buying a variety of international foodstuffs from coup leaders and commanders, some of whom resell to the residents, according to local resources.

In Al-Mahwit Governorate, local sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that since the beginning of Ramadan, Houthi leaders and supervisors seized more than 2,200 food baskets intended for the poor, the displaced, and other needy cases.

The militias began selling parts of the aid successively to merchants while distributing the other part to the families of their fighters.

Residents of the al-Jabal city in Mahwit told Asharq Al-Awsat that the group seized part of the humanitarian aid for the ninth time.

The coup government previously acknowledged looting and tampering with humanitarian aid after international organizations in Yemen threatened to reduce their assistance in militia-controlled areas.

The head of the Houthi coup government acknowledged in a letter he sent to the former UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Lise Grande, the looting of tons of humanitarian aid from a World Food Program warehouse in Hajjah.

The Ministry of Education in the coup government revealed that the WFP confirmed the seizure of 2,550 bags of lentils from its warehouses in the Abs district.

King Salman Center Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) announced last December that it would provide about $20 million to support the World Food Program's response in Yemen.

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