UN accused of silence over Houthi aid theft

Saudi ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Said Al-Jaber addresses the media in the southern Yemeni port of Aden upon his arrival to oversee an aid delivery of fuel from Saudi Arabia on October 29, 2018.

:: The Saudi ambassador to Yemen has accused some UN organizations of silence regarding crimes and violations by Houthi militias, including stealing and hindering the distribution of humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people.

Many officials in the Arab coalition supporting Yemen’s internationally recognized government had previously informed senior UN officials about Houthi violations regarding aid, Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber told the Associated Press (AP). Houthi militias have for years been looting aid and hindering its distribution, he added.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait have contributed $1.25 billion to the UN’s humanitarian response plan in Yemen.

“We’ve told UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock and the humanitarian coordinator of the UN in Yemen, Lise Grande, that only 40 percent of those funds have been spent in areas under the control of the Houthi militias because of their irresponsible practices,” Al-Jaber said.

Silence over Houthi crimes will only encourage them, he added, urging UN organizations to speak out.

Also on Saturday, Houthi fighters seized 72 World Food Programme (WFP) relief tracks headed to the province of Ibb, minister of local administration and chairman of the Higher Committee for Relief in Yemen said.

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