Amid famine and rampant disease that have spawned from Yemen’s four-year civil war, an Associated Press report out Monday revealed that food aid pouring in from across the globe, meant to curb the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, is “being snatched from the starving” by armed forces allied with the Saudi-led, U.S.-backed coalition that supports the Yemeni government as well as the Houthi rebels.
As the AP reports:
Across Yemen, factions and militias on all sides of the conflict have blocked food aid from going to groups suspected of disloyalty, diverted it to front-line combat units or sold it for profit on the black market, according to public records and confidential documents obtained by the AP and interviews with more than 70 aid workers, government officials, and average citizens from six different provinces.
Some observers have attributed the near-famine conditions in much of the country to the coalition’s blockade of ports that supply Houthi-controlled areas. AP’s investigation found that large amounts of food are making it into the country, but once there, the food often isn’t getting to people who need it most—raising questions about the ability of United Nations agencies and other big aid organizations to operate effectively in Yemen.
As one senior U.N. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, put it, “If there is no corruption, there is no famine.”