The World Food Programme (WFP) announced the suspension of its general food distribution in northern Yemen on Tuesday, citing limited funding and disagreements with the Iran-backed Houthi rebels who control the area over how to supply those most in need.
The decision was taken in agreement with donors after nearly a year of negotiations with the Houthis failed to produce an agreement to reduce the number of people supported from 9.5M to 6.5M, the WFP said. It added resumption of supplies could take up to four months due to supply chain disruptions.
This has been a painful decision for the WFP due to a drop in aid resources and the fact that the Houthis have prevented an agreement on the establishment of a secure and accountable aid distribution mechanism. However, it is not only the Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen that are affected — the WFP had to make similar decisions in almost half of its global operations as the organization struggles with declining funding for its programs, as does the entire humanitarian sector. The international community must act now to fulfill its humanitarian responsibilities.
While the WFP blames the Houthis for its disastrous decision, it was a politically motivated measure taken under US pressure in violation of international humanitarian law. It is no coincidence that the move comes just as the Houthis are launching operations in support of Palestinians in Gaza —who are suffering their own humanitarian apocalypse at the hands of Israel. The Yemeni people will not back down and remain committed to supporting the Palestinians' just struggle for freedom and dignity.
There's a 50% chance that Yemen will no longer be classified as being in a state of civil war by March 2027, according to the Metaculus prediction community.