The Donald Trump administration is preparing to cut most humanitarian aid to Yemen, the Washington Post reported today, amid progress on a potential cease-fire between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi rebels. The Trump administration provided more than $700 million in humanitarian assistance for Yemen last year but is shutting off the spigot in a bid to pressure the Houthis to undo their onerous new aid restrictions.
The move comes after the Saudi-led coalition and Yemen’s internationally recognized government backed UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ call for a cease-fire in the war-torn country earlier this week in order to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Key rebel leader Mohammed Ali al-Houthi welcomed the coalition’s announcement on Twitter with the caveat that they would wait to see it applied practically. Still, the Saudi-led coalition said today that it shot down Houthi drones over the kingdom while the Houthis said they intercepted coalition aircraft flying over Yemen’s Marib province.