Former president Donald Trump's administration had branded the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization, a move that limited the provision of aid to the beleaguered Yemeni people, who have suffered under a years-long war and famine, AP reported.
A State Department official confirmed the move Friday after members of Congress were notified of the administration’s plans.
“Our action is due entirely to the humanitarian consequences of this last-minute designation from the prior administration, which the United Nations and humanitarian organizations have since made clear would accelerate the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” the official said.
The move, which will take effect shortly, comes a day after Biden announced an end to US support for the Saudi-led offensive operations in Yemen.
The Obama administration in 2015 gave its “qualified” approval to Saudi Arabia leading a cross-border air campaign. The grinding six-year war in Yemen has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions.
Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut praised the Biden administration's move, saying, “The designation… stopped food and other critical aid from being delivered inside Yemen and would have prevented effective political negotiation.”
Aid groups had said that the designations of the Ansarullah movement, that governs much of Yemen, would put them at risk of prosecution in the United States.
According to the UN, more than three million people have been displaced and close to 80 percent of Yemen's population of 29 million people need of some form of aid for survival, AFP wrote.
Biden on Thursday announced the withdrawal of US support for the Saudi-led offensive in his first major foreign policy speech since replacing Trump.
The Ansarullah movement welcomed the approach of the new US administration.
“We are cautiously optimistic,” Houthi official Hameed Assem told AFP on Friday.
But he also warned that “our missiles will not stop until there is a cease-fire... they are the ones who started the war, and they are the ones who should end it”.
Saudi Arabia reacted by reasserting its commitment to a political solution in Yemen.