Women carry jerry cans with water from a well in the village of Islim in Yemen. Eissa Alragehi / Reuters
The head of the World Food Programme threatened on Monday to suspend aid deliveries to Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, charging that the humanitarian relief supplies were being "manipulated." David Beasley, the UN agency's director general, said deliveries would be suspended towards the end of the week unless there was a change of attitude by Houthi forces.
"Our food assistance is being manipulated, and we are being blocked from fixing it," he told a UN Security Council meeting on Yemen.
"All we are asking is to let us do what we do everywhere else all over the world. Children are dying right now because of this," he added.
Beasley said manipulation of aid deliveries was also a problem in government-controlled areas, but co-operation there had been sufficient to get those impediments lifted.
Beasley warned the Houthis in early May that aid to their areas could be suspended if they did not put an end to the diversion of shipments.
The World Food Programme in the past has accused certain Houthi leaders of "obstruction" and "non-cooperation," denying access to humanitarian convoys or creating obstacles in the selection of recipients of the aid.
During the Security Council meeting, Mark Lowcock, the UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, decried the lack of progress in the overall situation Yemen, which has been engulfed in a devastating civil war since 2015.
According to humanitarian relief organizations, tens of thousands of people have died, many of them civilians.
The UN estimates that 3.3 million people have been displaced and 24.1 million, about two thirds of the population, are in need of assistance.
Addressing the Security Council, the UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, deplored the absence of progress in an exchange of prisoners agreed in December in Sweden.
The UN says nearly 3,500 children have been verified as recruited and deployed in Yemen's civil war. However, a senior Houthi military official told AP in 2018 that the group had inducted 18,000 child soldiers into its army by then...
The Association of Yemeni Abductee Mothers said they don't know the whereabouts of dozens, including women, taken away by Houthis and transferred to secret prisons.
There was also some physical damage to the airport lounge.
UAE Minister Dr Anwar Gargash emphasised that the conflict in Yemen and the humanitarian suffering in many parts of the country are the direct results of the illegal and violent overthrow in 2014 of the legitimate government of Yemen by the Houthi militia.
"The FNC is confident that the UAE, under President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed, will see a new era of achievements and development. The country will continue to be the nation of giving, tolerance, safety and security," Ghobash said.
Despite the Biden administration's vow to break a stalemate in denuclearisation talks with North Korea with practical approaches, no progress has been made since he came into office in early 2021.
He meets new South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in Seoul and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, leaders who share anxieties about North Korea and China and are eager to build on their long alliances with Washington.