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WFP: Food aid to Houthi-held area could be suspended

Image of UN medical and food aid in Taiz, Yemen, on 4 March 2017 [Abdulnasser Alseddik/Anadolu Agency]
UN medical and food aid in Taiz, Yemen, on 4 March 2017 [Abdulnasser Alseddik/Anadolu Agency]

The World Food Program (WFP) warned on Sunday that food aid to the Houthi controlled governorate of Hajjah could be suspended due to the “unacceptable” obstacles imposed by the Houthis.

A senior official said that suspending the program’s operations “is on the table” if the interventions and obstruction of humanitarian aid continues. The source called on the Houthis to take corrective measures and stop the “unacceptable” interventions.

The source denied the Houthis’ claims that the UN food agency wanted to distribute “damaged food” in the governorate, describing the allegations as “baseless”.

Last week, the Houthis’ Supreme Council for the Administration and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Hajjah claimed that it had seized six trucks belonging to the WFP which contained flour that was not fit for human consumption.

However, a WFP official said the food aid had been examined by the Yemeni Standardisation, Metrology and Quality Control Organisation and was approved for distribution.

The source held the Houthi authorities responsible for damaging the food aid by subjecting it to unnecessary delays.

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