"Scamsha" is the arm of the Houthis to steal international relief aid

English - الأربعاء 06 يوليو 2022 الساعة 10:27 ص
Aden, NewsYemen, Hadeel Muhammad:

In 2020, international reports accused the terrorist Houthi militia of stealing relief aid, obstructing humanitarian access, imposing restrictions on the performance of international organizations, and clamping down on their employees, while the World Food Program accused the coup militia of looting food from the mouths of the hungry.

The militia of Iran’s arm in Yemen controls the activities of humanitarian organizations and international relief agencies, through entities it has spawned to control the flow of aid through the distribution mechanism and field survey.

The concern of international agencies increased after Iran's arm formed a new entity in recent years under the name of the "Supreme Council for the Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and International Cooperation", known as "Skamcha", in order to achieve more control over humanitarian aid.

The new militia entity, "Skamcha", took full control of all the work of international and local organizations, after it became the only supreme administrative authority responsible for managing and coordinating humanitarian affairs in the areas under the control of the terrorist militia.

The Houthi militia established the Houthi Council for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, with international criticism of Houthi restrictions on relief agencies rising, and international organizations threatening to withdraw aid from Houthi-controlled areas.

The idea of creating "Skamcha" came from the innovation of the militia leader Abdul Ghani Al-Madani in 2019, who proposed the establishment of a Houthi entity to loot funds from relief agencies, in charge of transportation, storage, survey of beneficiaries and distribution of aid.

The idea was supported by the highest Houthi leaders, and Mahdi Al-Mashat, head of the militia's political council, issued a decision to establish this entity. The decision stipulated the appointment of the leader, Ahmed Hamid, appointed by the militia to the position of director of the presidential office, as executive head of the Al-Waleed Council, while the leader, Abdul Mohsen Tawoos, was appointed as Secretary-General.  This council, which is based in the building of the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation in Sana'a, is the headquarters of its activities.

However, with the escalation of the scandals of the Houthi Council, and in an attempt to reduce the size of the losses caused by international organizations reducing or stopping their aid, the militia hastened in early February to dismiss the leader Abdul Mohsen Tawoos, who is accused of looting nearly one million dollars in relief aid funds and transferring them to his own accounts with Ahmed Hamed.  , from the position of Secretary-General of the Council, and appointed the leader Ibrahim Al-Hamali as his replacement, with a comprehensive change of all the previous administrative staff.

Threats from humanitarian organizations prompted them to stop their aid in Houthi-controlled areas.  Because they stole aid.  The militia members exposed and exchanged accusations of stealing this aid, as the Minister of Education in the coup government, Yahya al-Houthi, accused during a session of the House of Representatives under the control of the militia in Sanaa.  Both the Houthi leaders, Ahmed Hamed, director of the presidential office in Sana'a, who is the Executive Chairman of the Houthi Council for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and Abdul Mohsen Tawoos, the Secretary-General of the Council, claim that they, through the council, loot humanitarian aid, blackmail organizations financially and direct the media against them.  He pointed to the theft of 2,550 bags of lentils from the World Food Program in the Abs district of Hajjah governorate, and the entry of 109,000 bags of legumes on allegations that they were damaged, despite the fact that the Standards Authority confirmed their validity.

The Associated Press reported in February 2020 that the Houthis are obstructing half of the UN aid programs in Yemen, as well as UN efforts to monitor hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian funds, while demanding a massive share of that aid.

One UN official commented on the possible decision of the World Food Program to reduce its food aid due to obstruction by the Houthis, saying: “It is unfortunate that people will suffer but this will backfire on the Houthis.  They can't use people as hostages for too long."

In this context, Lise Grande, the former head of the United Nations humanitarian operations in Yemen, lamented that the "coercive and predatory police state" of the Houthis "imposed hundreds of restrictions on the delivery of humanitarian aid."  and "continued threat, intimidation, intimidation and detention of humanitarian personnel."

Speaking before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April 2021, Grande said it may not be possible to prevent the next catastrophic famine or even alleviate the humanitarian situation as long as the Houthi theocracy exists.

The Ministry of Social Affairs in the legitimate government had revealed the corruption and manipulation of the Houthi militia in the relief field during the years 2020 and 2021.  Pointing out that the Houthis looted about 120 tons of flour from international food stores in Hajjah Governorate, and robbed a third of the monthly food baskets in the Khairan region, as well as tampering with the aid statements for about 90,000 families in Al-Jawf Governorate, and about 3,600 beneficiaries in Dhamar Governorate.

Mayyun Organization for Human Rights and Development exposed the involvement of Ahmed Hamed and Abdel Mohsen Tawoos in the sale and distribution of food aid through merchants affiliated with the militia, and their involvement in the sale of 3 million bottles of cooking oil per month provided by the World Food Program and other organizations.

The organization revealed, in a statement, last January, that the Houthi Council and its branches have added the names of the military and security personnel and families belonging to the militia, including the dead and wounded, and members of the recruitment committees, to the lists of cases benefiting from food and financial aid, and depriving eligible families of it.

During a session of the UN Security Council in June 2020, the council condemned the Houthi takeover of humanitarian aid, based on a report submitted by the Executive Director of the World Food Program David Beasley.

In contrast to looting and robbery of humanitarian aid, the Houthi militia resorts to holding relief aid in inappropriate storage warehouses for long periods, until it becomes unfit for human consumption, and then destroys it within obstacles and systematic extortion of international and UN organizations.

During the year 2020, the militia destroyed large quantities of relief aid in Hodeidah, including tons of flour, foodstuffs, medicines and nutritional supplements, which were destroyed after being subjected to a long period of detention that lasted for more than a year, and exposure to humidity and extreme heat, inside storage warehouses unprepared for the hot climate that characterizes them.  The city of Al-Hodeidah, after the supporting organizations were unable to reach it to distribute it to the needy.

The destruction operations were carried out through the branch of the Houthi Council in Hodeidah, which is run by Jaber Al-Razhi, who is the supervisor of the work of humanitarian organizations in the governorates of (Hodeidah, Hajjah, and Al-Mahwit).

The terrorist militia intentionally announces its destruction of thousands of tons of damaged humanitarian aid, while what is destroyed is much less than the numbers it announces, in order to cover the quantities that it has looted and sold, as the militia has been impeding relief operations, creating crises, looting and stealing aid and preventing  reach those who deserve it.

According to a UN spreadsheet obtained by the Associated Press, in 2019 UN agencies put a total of $370 million in Houthi accounts, or about 10 percent of the international aid budget for Yemen, and marked about $133 million in the spreadsheet on  It is "unaudited".

According to the spreadsheet, Houthi council officials received salaries for a while, and three UN agencies were giving salaries to the council's president, secretary-general and directors-general, with each official receiving a total of $10,000 per month from the agencies.

UNHCR also provided $1 million every three months to the Houthi council for office rental and administrative costs, while the UN Migration Agency gave the council another $200,000 for furniture and supplies.