Ahead of a meeting expected to be held in Brussels, officials said that the aid operation for war-torn Yemen is under a severe threat. According to media reports, humanitarian agencies have said that the situation in the Huthi-controlled area is deteriorating as aid workers face the threat of arrest and intimidation by the rebel group. The Yemeni government has said although it believes that the rebel group misuses the aid as a cover to finance its war efforts, cutting off supplies would only affect citizens.
The statement by the Yemeni government came after reports emerged that the United States is planning to suspend its humanitarian assistance in response to the rebels call to include two percent tax on assistance projects. Huthi rebel's aid body SCMCHA had received a lot of criticism for systematic interference. SCMCHA hit out at critics by saying that some UN agencies use humanitarian assistance as a card to threaten Yemenis.
Yemen has taken its worst hit due to the ongoing armed conflict between Houthi rebels and a coalition of states led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In 2015, Saudi Arabia and the UAE intervened in the conflict on request of former Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and the continued fighting has caused disproportionate suffering for the civilians. As per media reports, Saudi's regional rival Iran is supporting the rebel fighters in the ongoing war by supplying them with weapons and other equipments.
Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed and millions displaced in the war that has ravaged the country, triggering what the UN describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis. According to the official report by the United Nations, if the civil war in Yemen goes on till 2022, it will become the poorest country in the world. The people below the poverty line were 47 percent in 2014 which was expected to hike up 75 percent by the end of last year due to the violent war.
(With inputs from agencies)