Yemen Market Watch Report, Issue No. 10, February 2017
Prices of food and fuel commodities continued to escalate in February 2017, and remained to be much higher than the pre-crisis levels.
The cost of the minimum food basket further increased in February, and became 31% higher than the level estimated during the pre-crisis period.
Availability of food and fuel commodities further deteriorated in February 2017 due to low imports and reduced level of informal cross border overland imports of commodities.
According to Alert for Price Spikes (ALPS) methodology, in February 2017, wheat flour was on stress situation, alert status prevailed for vegetable oil and red beans, while the situation of sugar continued to be at crisis level. The ALPS indicator for the cost of the minimum food basket continued to be at alert status.
With an estimated 17 million people at ‘emergency’ or ‘crisis’ levels of food insecurity, conflict-ridden Yemen is currently one of the worst hunger crises in the world. Twenty of the country’s 22 governorates are in ‘emergency’ or ‘crisis’ food insecurity phases and almost two-thirds of the population are now facing hunger and urgently require life and livelihood-saving assistance.
Without additional humanitarian and livelihoods support, Taiz and Hodeidah, two governorates accounting for almost a quarter of Yemen’s population, risk slipping into famine.1 The intensified conflict persisted for the past two years, coupled with restrictions and disruptions of commercial and humanitarian imports, mass population displacements, loss of livelihoods and income, scarcity and high prices of essential commodities including food and fuel, disrupted market systems, and suspension of safety net programmes and salaries for government employees have all contributed to the widespread food insecurity and malnutrition situation in Yemen.
Imports of essential commodities including food items are gravely affected by the lack of foreign currencies and continued depreciation of Yemen Riyal (YER) against US Dollar (USD) – with the average exchange rate in February 2017 reached to YER340/USD in parallel markets compared to the official rate of YER250/USD.