Yemeni minister lauds KSRelief

Yemeni Minister of Local Administration Abdul Raqib Fatah

:: Yemeni Minister of Local Administration Abdul Raqib Fatah hailed the assistance provided by Saudi Arabia to Yemen, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The Kingdom’s assistance to Yemen is demonstrated by the efforts of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) in helping the people of Yemen inside and outside their country.

Fatah, who is also the head of Higher Committee for Relief, referred to the comprehensive humanitarian plan announced by the Saudi-led coalition, explaining that there are 17 routes for reaching Yemen, and the new response plan has established a new airport in Marib.

He called on the UN to use military aircraft to deliver aid to Yemenis.

The Yemeni minister rejected the Houthis’ claim of an alleged siege, requesting that anyone who mentions a blockade or siege must refer to a relief convoy that was denied access to a governorate by the legitimate government or the coalition.

“The true siege is the one being carried out by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, who are establishing new routes in Dhamar, Ibb, and Sanaa and therefore increasing the costs of delivering aid and consequently expanding the area of poverty,” he said.

In an interview with the Yemeni national television, Fatah explained that “if not for KSRelief’s great efforts in providing assistance to the Yemeni people, as well as the efforts of the UAE Red Crescent and the Kuwaiti Relief Authority, the people of Yemen would have suffered famine.”

“Those are our true partners who have stood by us since the crisis erupted,” he added, explaining that the situation in Yemen is the result of a coup carried out by a group that wished to rule Yemen with force.

“The Houthi rebels have targeted with their weapons all the Yemenis, foremost the legitimate president, and they have done this after Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi led a dialogue in which representatives of all Yemeni parties participated — including the Houthis, who signed the dialogue’s documents.”

Fatah criticized the performance of UN organizations and described it as “centralized” during the 2017 relief operation, pointing out that this year, UN organizations have decided that relief gets carried out through 5 relief centers in Sanaa, Hodeidah, Aden, Hadramout, and Marib so that it does not remain centralized.

“This measure will ensure justice in distributing aid,” he said.

Fatah pointed out that the High Relief Committee submitted 92 statements to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sanaa, Jamie McGoldrick, and to ambassadors of different countries, documenting violations committed by Houthi rebels in 2017, including direct seizure of aid convoys and taking hold of 250 aid convoys on their way to Taiz districts.

“I explained to the head of Office for OCHA, George Khoury, that in 2018, we must stop diagnosing and move on to treatment,” he continued, stressing that “treating the situation can be done once we move to the second phase of the relief operation because it helps us secure sources of income and livelihoods, which is what the US is doing in many countries.”

The Yemeni minister indicated that UN organizations are a major ally of the Yemeni government.

“Our goal in 2018 is not to only provide the Yemeni people with flour, rice, and oil after three years of war, but to transition to the second phase of relief according to the UN’s standards and commitments, which is the phase of providing livelihoods,” he said.

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