WFP’s Beasley Tells UN Security Council, Get Food to Yemen Now, End Houthi Terrorist Designation
Jan. 17 , 2021 (EIRNS)—The UN Security Council on Jan. 14 was briefed by UN humanitarian organization directors that the U.S. designation of Houthi militia as a foreign terrorist organization risks expediting large-scale famine in Yemen, according to UNSC press release. Yemen was the focus for several reports, especially since U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Jan. 10 that the Houthis are now designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. “This is a death sentence,” said David Beasley, World Food Program Director. He called for the decision to be reversed.
Beasley began his briefing to the Security Council, by putting aside his prepared statement, and saying he would speak “heart to heart.” He said of the State Department’s decision, “We are struggling now without the designation. With the designation, it’s going to be catastrophic. It literally is going to be a death sentence to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of innocent people in Yemen.”
Beasley, an American—former Republican governor from South Carolina, who was designated for the WFP position in 2017 by President Donald Trump—had met with Pompeo in Washington, D.C. over the holidays, asking him not to put the Houthis on the Foreign Terrorist Organization list. He explained to the Security Council what will now happen with the designation. Of the 30 some million Yemeni population, the 17 million people who rely on commercial food suppliers, will find their food disappearing, since the suppliers will pull out, fearing retaliation from the U.S. The other 15 million getting some form of food aid will not have enough, given the lack of sufficient resources from the World Food Program, which already has reduced the rations for 9 million people. The result will be famine.
Beasley said at one point, that he was “going to remove his UN hat” and put on a “U.S. hat.” He reported that the U.S. had given $3.75 billion to the WFP in 2020. “I’m very grateful for that. But this designation, it needs to be re-assessed, it needs to be re-evaluated, and quite frankly, it needs to be reversed.”
Beasley called on the Gulf states “to pick up the humanitarian financial tab for this problem in Yemen.” He called for Security Council and world leaders to apply pressure for the warfare to stop. He stressed that the crisis in Yemen must be stopped, more resources are needed, and other countries are in line for famine unless there is a mobilization of relief. “I can assure you that Mark Lowcock [UN Humanitarian Aid envoy] and I will be before you pretty soon talking about other countries. And if we can’t solve this one—this is man-made completely—shame on us.”
The UN News site released photos from Yemen, and videos of the statements by Lowcock and Beasley from Jan. 14.