In the relentless campaign, Saudi-led airstrikes have hit schools, hospitals and wedding parties and killed thousands of Yemeni civilians. The Houthis have used drones and missiles to attack Saudi Arabia and have targeted vessels in the Red Sea.
As the world's worst humanitarian disaster unfolded, aid agencies rushed to help, risking getting caught in the middle between the warring parties.
Last week, the WFP partially suspended aid as talks with the Houthis went nowhere and after the agency accused the rebels of continuing to loot aid and using millions of dollars of international donations for their war economy.
The suspension affects 850,000 people in Sanaa, where the WFP says the bulk of the looting takes place. WFP has been sending food aid worth 100,000 million dollars a month to Yemen.
The rebels, who control northern Yemen, responded with a fierce media campaign against the WFP, accusing it of sending spoiled food.
On Sunday, the Houthi-run news agency SABA quoted Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a high rebel official, as accusing the WFP of trying to cover up spoiled food and expired aid. Al-Houthi had been advocating for WFP cash donations in place of what he said was "corrupted food." The WFP says some of the food held for long in areas controlled by the rebels had indeed gone bad.
The Associated Press obtained the copy of a letter from WFP chief in Yemen, Stephen Anderson, notifying the Houthis on June 11 that the agency is in the process of getting rid of over 200,000 tons of expired flour held by the rebels at the Sanaa airport.
The letter said the WFP was planning to destroy the flour at a Sanaa dump.
Last month, the rebels ordered over 8,000 tons of flour sent by the WFP out of the Red Sea port of Hodeida, claiming it was contaminated with dead insects. A subsequent check on the cargo, now docked in Oman, showed it was clean, the WFP spokesperson added.
"WFP can't tolerate groundless rejection of essential humanitarian cargo when millions in Yemen face malnutrition and starvation," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the incidents.
The AP reported last December that armed factions on both sides of the conflict were stealing much-needed food aid, diverting it to their fighters or reselling it for profit. Some groups are blocking deliveries to communities they view as their enemies, the AP found.
Days before aid suspension, David Beasley, WFP executive director, told the U.N. Security Council that the agency in late 2018 uncovered "serious evidence that food was being diverted and going to the wrong people" in the capital of Sanaa and other Houthi-controlled areas.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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