Statement by Administrator Samantha Power
For Immediate Release
Friday, May 27, 2022
Office of Press Relations
It is with great sorrow that we learned of the passing of a member of the USAID family. Abdulhameed Al-Ajami, a former Yemeni U.S. Embassy employee who worked for USAID was detained by Houthis in November of 2021, and perished earlier this week in their custody. I’d like to extend my sincere and deepest condolences to his family and friends and recognize his tremendous service to the United States and to Yemen.
Abdulhameed was dedicated to helping bring a brighter future to all Yemenis, and worked to expand the reach of education in the country as the head of our education portfolio. He was a beloved figure in our mission and in Sana’a, one who could charm a crowded room and cut through complex challenges at work. His death in Houthi captivity, following six months during which he was denied contact with his family, is a complete outrage and those responsible for his detention must be held accountable. We condemn the Houthis for their continued detainment of current and former U.S. locally employed staff in Sana’a and demand their release.