World Health Organization Orders Staff Out of Houthi-Held Areas of Yemen

Claims 'credible threats' led to decision

Claiming “credible threats and perceived risks,” the World Health Organization (WHO) announced over the weekend that they are pulling out of parts of northern Yemen under the control of the Houthi movement.

This comes amid mounting concerns over coronavirus picking up pace in Yemen, with some officials implying it was meant to punish the Houthis for not being more transparent about the virus impact within their territory.

Actual threats, however, would almost certainly be related to Saudi Arabia, which has been invading Yemen for years. The WHO has rarely had problems operating in Yemen, even if they’re not always getting along with officials, and the only real threat would be the Saudis occasionally bombing a hospital.

Withholding yet more aid from the Houthis, while having disastrous consequences for the people there, is also in keeping with the Saudi war strategy of keeping the Houthis in a state of desperation on food and medication.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of