Yemeni troops loyal to Houthi rebels line up during a graduation ceremony for new recruits in the northwestern city of Saada on April 20. The soldiers to the left are standing on US and Israeli flags. (AFP/Getty Images)

Time to Reevaluate Aid in Yemen

Al-Roeya, UAE, May 23

Last week, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) warned that aid to Yemen could be suspended to areas controlled by Houthi rebels. This is the right step, but a very late one, nonetheless. Every Yemeni person knows that the country has been struck by widespread hunger. The Houthis not only divert the aid that is sent to Yemen, but also sell it to hungry and needy people in the war-torn country. The United Nations recognizes that the UAE and Saudi Arabia have provided over $300 million in aid to the Yemeni people during last year. They should therefore ask themselves where all these millions of aid dollars, meant to ease the hunger and suffering of the Yemeni people, have gone. The United Nations must stop aid that is funneled through the Houthis and begin to immediately develop an alternative and orderly mechanism to deliver food and medical supplies where they are needed. So long as the UN’s aid program continues in its current format, the Houthis will be able to continue their military campaign unabated. This will only prolong the war and dissuade the Houthis from coming to the negotiating table and accepting a political solution. Experts believe that some 14 million Yemeni people are starving. Given that the hundreds of millions of dollars provided by the UAE and Saudi Arabia have still not stopped this problem, the UN must find the culprit for this tragedy and take the necessary measures to feed the hungry and treat the sick. It is not enough to blame all parties as equal culprits in this tragedy. But this is, unfortunately, what the United Nations does: It places the thief and the robber in the same pool. The Arab Coalition, led by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, is working tirelessly to aid the people of Yemen. Meanwhile, the Houthi militias, which are the real aggressors, are robbing the Yemeni people of any chance to improve their livelihoods and end the war. – Muhammad al-Hammadi
(translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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