NEW YORK – The World Food Program (WFP) on Friday hailed a Houthi decision to investigate the misappropriation of humanitarian aid to Yemen.
Representatives of the "Ansarullah" (Houthis) movement in Yemen announced to Sanna that an investigation was under way to determine the parties involved in this diversion.
"Statement follows WFP's call for urgent action to immediately stop the diversion of humanitarian food aid into the country after evidence of the practice was discovered in Sana'a and other parts of the country controlled by the Houthi movement, "said spokesman for the UN food aid agency Hervé Verhoosel.
According to this UN official, much of the aid for the residents of the capital Sanaa, controlled by the elements of the "Ansarullah" movement (Houthis) has never reached their destination. "Misuse of food aid is also occurring in areas controlled by the Yemeni government.
However, this volume is generally lower than that of the areas controlled by the Houthis, "said the spokesman.Several reports have established that some of this aid was actually put on sale on the stalls of the markets. Yemeni capital.
The UN agency estimates that about 1,200 tons of food were diverted in August and September, or 600 tons per month. The UN agency says it has identified seven distribution centers involved in the misappropriation of aid in Sana'a and asked the authorities to remove corrupt officials.
"The local partner organization, which is apparently involved in these diversions, has the capacity to provide food aid to millions of beneficiaries," said Hervé Verhoosel. Currently, she is helping the UN agency provide food assistance to three million people.
WFP points out that many "extremely poor beneficiaries" have sold part of their food rations to finance other needs (education, drugs, rent) because, for many, the only help they receive is that provided by the UN agency. In response to this situation, WFP intends to review how assistance is provided to vulnerable populations.
"We examined the introduction of cash transfers in certain areas," says Verhoosel. This is to ensure that only registered beneficiaries can claim their money or their food rations. According to WFP, this form of assistance would have the advantage of reviving the local economy.
Given the risk of corruption, the UN Agency has clearly explained to the authorities that it will not proceed with cash transfers unless it is authorized to set up a fingerprint-based biometric identification system. . "It's about ensuring that only registered beneficiaries can claim their money or their food rations," says the agency.