Houthis solicit donations for fighting COVID-19, designate Mövenpick Hotel as quarantine center

The Houthi-controlled Central Bank of Yemen in Sana’a announced the opening of a special account on Thursday to accept donations for “confronting the coronavirus epidemic,” according to the Houthi-run Saba News agency. 

Houthi authorities have been accused of rampant corruption, from selling food aid to siphoning off aid dollars, raising questions about how the funds will be used. 

Residents have received text messages like the following with instructions on how to donate to the cause.

While there have been no confirmed coronavirus cases in Yemen, the Houthis have formed a Joint Technical Committee to prepare and respond to the virus. Abdul Hakim Al-Kuhlani, the spokesman for the committee, told Saba that the group would use the Mövenpick Hotel in Sana’a as a quarantine facility. 

“Yemen is still free of the coronavirus,” he told Saba, explaining that the country does have one suspected, though not confirmed, case. 

The deputy editor of Saba was dismissed Thursday after tweeting that Yemen had a confirmed case of COVID-19. He quickly deleted the tweet.



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