GENEVA, The United Nations World Food Programme, WFP, announced that it would consider suspension of aid in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, citing insecurity and obstructive and uncooperative role of some of the Houthi leaders.
''This phased suspension of WFP operations will be taken as a last resort and we will do everything within our powers to ensure that the weakest and most vulnerable � especially children � do not suffer. Nutrition activities that directly target malnourished children and women will continue, in order to mitigate any regrettable impact that a partial suspension may have on their health and well-being. We owe this to the people of Yemen and our international donors who support our operation,'' said the WFP in a statement on Monday.
According to the statement, the WFP still hopes that good sense will prevail and a suspension will not happen. The ultimate responsibility for the welfare of their people lies with the Yemeni leadership. If WFP is allowed to deliver an operation that meets minimum international standards, we are still ready to play our part and to ensure a better future for the millions of Yemenis who are struggling to feed their families.
''Humanitarian workers in Yemen are being denied access to the hungry, aid convoys have been blocked, and local authorities have interfered with food distribution, and � most importantly, there have been repeated obstacles placed in the way of our independent selection of beneficiaries and a request for a roll out of a biometric registration system. This would allow WFP to identify and target the most hungry and ensure that they are the beneficiaries of food assistance. '' ''This has to stop.'' In 2019, the statement said, WFP aims to feed around 12 million of the most vulnerable people � nearly half of the total Yemeni populations, at a cost to the international community around US$175 million a month. Already, many are not being reached because of the obstacles that are being put in our way. ''If we are not given the access and freedom to decide who gets this vital assistance, then we will have to take the hard decision of implementing a phased suspension of our operations in Houthi controlled areas.'' ''As WFP strives to deliver on our humanitarian mandate we face daily challenges due to the unrelenting fighting and insecurity in Yemen. And yet, our greatest challenge does not come from the guns, that are yet to fall silent in this conflict - instead, it is the obstructive and uncooperative role of some of the Houthi leaders in areas under their control,'' the statement indicated.
Source: Emirates News Agency