The World Food Program (WFP) said Tuesday it had halted its general food distribution in North Yemen due to limited funding and disagreements with local authorities over how to focus on the poorest groups there.
Sanaa and northern Yemen are under the control of the Iran-aligned Houthi group. The group has been at war since 2014 with the Saudi Arabian-backed government based in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden.
Fighting subsided over the past two years. It eased what the UN described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. However, millions of people still depend on direct humanitarian assistance.
WFP said the decision was taken after consultation with donors. The decision came after a year of negotiations and no agreement was reached to reduce the number of people served from 9.5 million to 6.5 million.
Food supplies in areas under Houthi rule are running low and restarting food aid could take up to four months due to disruptions in supply chains, the UN agency said in a statement. There was no immediate comment from Houthi officials.
The WFP has been reducing rations in Yemen since 2022 due to a critical funding gap and global inflation after Russia invaded Ukraine.
The WFP said the agency would continue other programs, including nutrition and school feeding, to limit the impact of its decision.
Public food distribution will continue with a focus on the neediest groups in areas controlled by the Saudi-backed government, WFP continued. (uh/ab)