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US’s move to label Houthis as terrorists could affect vital aid

SHAFAQNA- US has announced it will designate Yemen’s Houthi as a terrorist organisation. It is a move aid groups have warned will make getting assistance to people stuck in the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis” even harder. NGOs have lobbied heavily against the designation, saying it will seriously hamper efforts to bring aid to the estimated 80 percent of Yemen’s 30 million people who live in parts of the country controlled by the Houthis. It’s already hard to deliver aid in Yemen, in part because of obstacles put up by the Houthis themselves, Thenewhumanitarian.org reported.

US counter-terrorist designations can lead to problems using banking systems, paying private contractors, and other unintended consequences: Private importers may find it hard to pay suppliers abroad; foreign banks may decline to transfer funds to NGOs, traders, or people receiving remittances from abroad; and shortages of fuel could worsen. US-based suppliers, including internet and social media providers, may shed Yemeni clients as a precaution.

There is also concern that the blacklisting could impact UN-led peace negotiations: “The decision may polarise even more the positions of the parties to the conflict and hinder efforts to resolve this devastating conflict any time soon,” said a UN source, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the situation.