(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM))
ABU DHABI, 3rd January, 2019 (WAM) -- Millions of people in Yemen depend on humanitarian food assistance for their survival and it is very important that it reaches those who most need it. Several children have already lost their lives or are still dying because they haven't enough food to eat, an editorial in a local English language daily has said.
The editorial, in today's edition of The Gulf Today, said, "In this background, the Iran-backed Houthi militia's manipulation of food aid is a matter of serious concern for the international community.
After uncovering evidence that humanitarian food supplies are being diverted in Yemen's Houthi-controlled capital, Sanaa, and other parts of the country, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has demanded an immediate end to the practice, and is right in doing so.
The misappropriation of food relief came to light in a WFP review conducted during recent months. It was prompted by an increasing number of reports of humanitarian food for sale on the open market in the capital.
The de facto authorities in Houthi-controlled abuse-prone areas have been resisting a WFP-supported overhaul of the relief system there, including more monitoring and revamping the beneficiary registration and selection processes.
As Yemen's Minister of Information Muammar Al Iryani points out, the WFP's account indicates that Houthi militia is deliberately exacerbating humanitarian crisis, causing people in its controlled regions to suffer starvation in order to capitalise on their torment to gain politically and militarily.
The Houthi militia has intentionally aimed to deprive millions of Yemenis their salaries, livelihood income sources and humanitarian aid to further increase their suffering so that they have no other choice but to go fighting alongside the coup militia.
The coup militia has created pro-Houthi local organisations, some of which are sectarian-oriented, to receive humanitarian aid, re-direct and distribute them to the coup militia's and their supporters. As a result, as Al Iryani explained, large quantities of humanitarian aid were used to promote Houthi sectarian agenda, hence prolonging the conflict instead of alleviating the humanitarian crisis.
The Arab coalition has been doing its best to help the Yemeni people. The launching of food aid initiative, "Imdaad," by the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in cooperation with the WFP and other international bodies to combat famine would go a long way in helping the Yemeni people and alleviating their hardships.
"The international community should work closely to ensure that the food assistance is delivered swiftly to persons in need, especially in Houthi-controlled regions, to avoid any exploitation of the aid," concluded the Sharjah-based daily.