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New concerns facing relief and humanitarian work in Yemen

The killing of a humanitarian worker in #Yemen, and the failure to resume the grain agreement between #Russia and #Ukraine could drive millions to starvation.

A humanitarian worker was killed by gunmen in Taiz Governorate, western Yemen, on Friday. According to the World Food Program, Moayad Al-Hamidi died immediately after arriving at the hospital after being shot by unknown individuals.


It is worth noting that Moayad Al-Hamidi is a Jordanian national who had recently arrived in Yemen to take over as head of the World Food Program office in Taiz.


"The loss of our colleague is a profound tragedy for our organization and the humanitarian community," WFP Representative and Country Director in Yemen Richard Ragan stated. "Any loss of life in humanitarian service is an unacceptable tragedy."


Yemeni police apprehended two suspects in the killing of the Jordanian official on Saturday, according to Yemeni authorities. Ten more people have been arrested in connection with the death of Moayed Hamidi.


Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdul-Malik Saeed told World Food Program Director Cindy McCain over the phone that the criminals will be held accountable for the "terrorist crime" they committed. He reaffirmed the government's commitment to ensuring the safety of humanitarian organizations operating in the nation.


Yemen is experiencing the world's biggest humanitarian crisis, with several political, economic, and social factors intertwining, not to mention the effects of climate change. Furthermore, relief and humanitarian organizations have always faced obstacles to their work, particularly in areas controlled by the Houthis, including restrictions on movement and the difficulty of obtaining permits, not to mention the risk of employees being kidnapped or killed. Almost all aid initiatives are underfunded as well.


In a related regard, the UN stated that the surge in food prices after Russia's withdrawal from an agreement allowing the safe shipment of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea "threatens hunger and worse for millions of people."


The United Nations has long contended that the Black Sea deal benefited poor nations by lowering global food costs by more than 23% since March of last year. In addition, 725,000 tons of grain were sent to Afghanistan, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen by the World Food Program. Disrupting Ukrainian exports to Yemen, in addition to security and funding challenges, could impede relief and humanitarian work in Yemen.

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