Yemen's Houthis step back on threats to tax aid

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have reportedly reversed a threat to tax international assistance to the war-torn country.

The rebel group, which has controlled the capital Sanaa and much of Yemen since 2014, had said they would impose a 2% levy on humanitarian aid.

However, a UN official told AFP news agency on Friday that the Houthis agreed to drop the demand.

Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with 80% of the country’s population dependent on aid.

Aid agencies and major donors meeting in Brussels on Thursday said the situation in Yemen had “reached a breaking point”.

They warned that aid distribution could be scaled down or interrupted in areas where “principled delivery”, or neutral operations, were no longer possible.

The meeting said that while both sides were responsible for issues faced by humanitarian and UN agencies operating in Yemen, the Houthi’s proposed tax had triggered the latest crisis, according to AFP.

A strongly word summary of the talks in Brussels, obtained by the BBC, did not name the Houthi movement, but said that the operating environment had rapidly deteriorated across the country and in the north – which is under rebel control – in particular.

The…

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