World Food Programme announces ‘partial suspension’ of aid to war-torn Yemen

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The World Food Programme (WFP) has on Thursday announced the “partial suspension” of humanitarian aid to Yemen’s capital Sanaa which is controlled by Houthi rebels, citing issues with “diversion of food” from the neediest.

According to Dawn news reports, the partial suspension would preliminary target Sanaa city alone, affecting some 850,000 people, according to an official statement released by the United Nations (UN). Though, the nutrition programme will continue to serve for pregnant and nursing mothers, and malnourished children.

Ultimately, the partial suspension “under the control of the Sanaa-based authorities” will cause an effect to all regions in war-ravaged Yemen.

The agency said its decision was implemented after stalled negotiations over a deal “to introduce controls to prevent the diversion of food away from some of the most vulnerable people in Yemen” adding, “some individuals seek to profit by preying on the vulnerable”.

“WFP has been seeking the support of the Sanaa-based authorities to introduce a biometric registration system that would prevent diversion and protect the Yemeni families we serve, ensuring food reaches those who need it most,” said the agency.

It added saying the integrity of our operation is under threat and our accountability to those we help has been undermined.

Saudi Arabia, along with its allies intervened in 2015 in Yemen in order to strengthen the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, after the Houthi rebel captured much of the nation, including the capital, Sanaa.

“Too many Yemenis have suffered for too long during this ongoing conflict. We will continue to seek cooperation from the Sanaa-based authorities and we remain optimistic that a way forward can be found,” said the WFP.

The agency said it was ready to immediately restart aid distribution once they will reach a final agreement over a beneficiary identification exercise and the roll out of a biometric registration system.

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