"WFP cannot accept any diversion of food aid that is not in line with its main mission of responding to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen”
WFP responds to circulating video showing food aid on the front lines of Marib
On Monday, the World Food Programme (WFP) in Yemen said in a Facebook post that it was aware of a recently circulated video which shows relief materials bearing the WFP logo on the front lines of Serwah district in Marib governorate.
"The WFP cannot confirm the source or validity of the video," WFP said in the post late Monday evening, stressing that its food assistance is for Yemeni civilians most in need. "WFP cannot accept any diversion of food aid that is not in line with its main mission of responding to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.”
Activists had circulated the video on social media sites showing food items bearing the WFP logo in one of the areas controlled by the Houthis in Serwah. The activists accused the Houthis of diverting relief aid from the poor and needy and distributing it to their fighters on the front lines, as well as selling it on the black market.
On April 11, WFP said it would halve its assistance to people in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen from mid-April onwards after donors cut funding due to concerns that the Houthis were blocking aid delivery.
“WFP’s operation in Yemen is now facing a critical funding shortage and is left with no choice but to reduce assistance by half to avoid a full stop of assistance in the future,” a WFP spokesperson told Almasdar Online.
As of mid-April, families will receive WFP assistance every two months, rather than monthly. The UN food organization feeds more than 12 million Yemenis a month, 80 percent of them in Houthi-controlled areas.
WFP called on "the de facto authorities to honour agreements and to introduce the confidence measures needed for donations and full operations to resume,” the spokesperson said.
In recent months, donors, humanitarian agencies and UN agencies have increasingly complained about Houthi intervention and obstruction and have threatened to cut aid if conditions do not improve.
USAID said nearly a month ago ago that it had begun cutting aid to Houthi-run areas because of these concerns.
Edited by Ahlam Mohsen and Casey Coombs