US to stop aid in Yemen’s Houthi areas if militants don’t budge

Houthi troops ride on the back of a police patrol truck after participating in a Houthi gathering in Sanaa, Yemen February 19, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 26 February 2020

US to stop aid in Yemen’s Houthi areas if militants don’t budge

  • USAID threatened to suspend aid to Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen
  • The UN calls the situation in Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis

CAIRO: USAID said late Monday that it will suspend aid to Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen, where most of the country’s people live, if the militants don’t remove impediments obstructing aid operations.
A spokesperson said that the agency said it informed partners including UN agencies about the plan last week. The official said the suspension will start in late March if Houthis take no action.
“We continue to do everything we can to avoid a reduction in aid in northern Yemen,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with agency regulations.
The US provided about $700 million in aid to Yemen last year. It is among the largest donors to Yemen, where a UN aid program totaling $8.35 billion since 2015 is vital to keeping many Yemenis alive. The UN calls the situation in Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
As the war in Yemen enters its sixth year, 10 million people in the country are on the brink of famine and 80% of the population of 29 million need of aid, according to the UN More than 3 million people have been displaced, cholera epidemics have killed hundreds, and at least 2.2 million children under 5 suffer from severe malnutrition, the agency said.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who control most of northern Yemen, have blocked half of the United Nations’ aid delivery programs in the war-torn country — a strong-arm tactic aimed at forcing the agencies to give them greater control over the humanitarian campaign.


US ambassador says ready to solve Safer tanker crisis

Updated 20 min 37 sec ago

US ambassador says ready to solve Safer tanker crisis

  • The United States is keen on helping to resolve the oil tanker crisis

RIYADH: The US ambassador to Yemen said Washington is ready to help in solving the crisis of an abandoned oil tanker off Yemen’s coast at risk of exploding. 

Ambassador Christopher Hensel stressed that the United States is keen on helping to resolve the crisis given that it poses a threat.

He also expressed his appreciation to the efforts by the Yemeni government to reach stability in the region, in remarks during a meeting with the Yemeni foriegn minister.  

With 1.1 million barrels of crude on board, the FSO Safer tanker is deteriorating badly and could rupture at any time, with disastrous results for Red Sea marine life, UN and other experts have warned.
The 45-year-old ship is anchored off the port of Hodeidah under the control of the Iran-backed Houthi militia, which initially blocked UN efforts to send a team of experts to assess its condition. Sources on Sunday said the Houthis gave the UN inspectors the green light to inspect the decaying tanker.