The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) yesterday criticised the timing of the US State Department's plan to designate Yemen's Houthi group as a "terrorist organisation", saying Yemen is on the verge of collapse due to lack of humanitarian aid.
"We are already at breaking point in Yemen. Aid is overstretched, underfunded and in crossfire," NRC Secretary-General Jan Egeland tweeted.
"Aid must deal with de facto rulers on all sides. This move at this point could break the lifeline to millions. Exemptions for aid work & civilian supplies must be crystal clear," he added.
Late on Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington intends to designate Yemen's Houthi movement and three of its prominent leaders as terrorists, despite warnings that such a move may threaten aid operations in the war-torn country.
Pompeo claimed the aim was to hold the Houthis accountable for cross-border attacks threatening civilians, infrastructure and shipping.
The Iranian-backed Houthis have controlled a number of provinces in Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, since September 2014.