UN projects without supervision.. Al-Houthi continues to close "Prodigy" in Sana'aEnglish - Saturday 27 May 2023 الساعة 05:36 pm
Mustafa M. works among the hundreds of staff of the Prodigy Company, which specializes in monitoring and evaluating the progress of relief and humanitarian operations implemented by United Nations organizations in Yemen.
Mustafa, like other employees of the company, is waiting to resume work, months after the storming of the headquarters in Sana'a in early January 2023, and the arrest of its manager, owner and a number of key employees by the Houthi militia - Iran's arm in Yemen.
Sana'a witnessed protests by a number of families of the abductees and employees of the "Prodigy" company, to demand the release of the director, Adnan Al-Harazi, and the reopening of the company and the resumption of its activities.
Mustafa told "Newsyemen": I have been working with the company for years as a field observer, and my task was to go to the field to carry out surveys and submit evaluation and monitoring reports on the progress of aid distribution and relief programs implemented by UN and international organizations, adding: Our work is to verify that aid has reached the needy and beneficiaries of humanitarian projects in Yemen.
He pointed out that the company has four headquarters, in Sana'a, Aden, Hodeidah and Saada, and there is a large network of trained field employees, numbering more than a thousand employees. This company was able to implement large-scale monitoring and evaluation projects in the areas of food security, health and nutrition, cash transfers, water and sanitation, and other areas.
On the 11th of last January, a force affiliated with the Houthi militia raided the company's headquarters in Sana'a, and confiscated all technical equipment, before arresting the company's director and owner, Eng. Adnan Al-Harazi, along with 10 heads of departments and employees at the headquarters, and took them to a secret prison run by what is known as Houthi Preventive Security Service. The employees were released and the owner and manager of the company were excluded, and the company or its financial accounts were not opened.
The raid on the "Prodigy" company coincided with the raid on the headquarters of the "Medex Connect" company, which provides medical services, by the same force, and its devices and tools were confiscated. The reason for the storming was that Eng. Adnan Al-Harazi is one of the most prominent contributors to it.
The Houthi militia did not provide any legal justifications for storming the two aforementioned companies. Especially since the two companies are committed to working in accordance with the provisions and rules of the Yemeni Labor Law, and according to the permits issued by the Houthis through the so-called Supreme Council for the Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and International Cooperation.
Over the past years, UN and international reports have escalated, revealing the fact that relief aid has been manipulated in Houthi-controlled areas, and that it has not been properly delivered to those who deserve it. False information and numbers, looting of aid and harnessing it to the battle fronts and other acts practiced by the Houthi militia against the projects of UN organizations and directing them towards their goals and depriving hundreds of thousands of affected people from benefiting from relief operations.
According to relief sources in Sana'a, they revealed that the Houthi militia has directly accused Prodigy Corporation, the most prominent partner of United Nations organizations operating in the areas under the group's control, of being behind many reports and information that condemn it and reveal its involvement in the manipulation and looting of aid and financial grants intended for the humanitarian response at all costs over years.
The sources indicated that the director of the company rejected a process of extortion practiced by Houthi leaders, including those in charge of the Houthi Supreme Council for the Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and International Cooperation, which was created by the militias to control relief operations and direct them towards their goals.
The sources revealed that the United Nations and international donors have asked Prodigy to conduct an independent survey of the beneficiaries of humanitarian aid and the displaced in Houthi-controlled areas, which the militias reject and try to obstruct and direct towards their goals.
The Yemeni government, which is internationally recognized, considered what is happening to the company in terms of Houthi violations, a crime that should not be tolerated by the United Nations, explaining through the Yemeni Minister of Information, Muammar Al-Eryani, that the closure of the company and the confiscation of its equipment reveals the desire to control the food and cash aid provided by United Nations organizations for the poorest.
Surprisingly, the United Nations and relief organizations in Yemen did not take any serious stance regarding what the company, of which it is a major partner, was subjected to, and demanded that they condemn what happened clearly and explicitly.
The Houthi militia seeks to implement a dangerous scheme aimed at controlling all UN and international grants and aid in their areas of control. This scheme emerged in targeting the main partners that organizations and donors rely on to evaluate and monitor relief operations at home.
Relief sources in Sana'a told "NewsYemen": After storming the company, confiscating its equipment, and kidnapping its owner, the militia began the process of taking over and controlling the company through a letter addressed by the specialized criminal prosecution in Sana'a to the agent of the Houthi Security and Intelligence Service appointing a loyalist to the Houthi militia named Walid Al Busi to carry out the operation. Temporarily acting as the company's manager.
The sources indicated that the militias will reopen the company under the Houthi commandments, and allow employees to return to their work under the new directions.
The appointment of a Houthi leader at the head of the most important evaluation and oversight company in Yemen came after fabricating charges against the company's owner and former director, Eng. Adnan Al-Harazi, including treason and working for foreign and international parties, and other charges that the militias used to attach to all their opponents and those who refused to submit to their blackmail and goals.
And Iran's arm published through its media to justify the incident of storming and kidnapping the owner of the company, that it comes within the framework of taking into account their higher interests, and that the company had suspicious links with external parties. However, many Houthi leaders and activists on social media avoid presenting any official complaints against the company and its owner, which confirms that the seizure process is in violation of the laws.