Yemen Plan of Action 2014-2015 [EN/AR]
Yemen, one of the least developed countries in the world, is experiencing a complex and protracted crisis that has heavily affected its political and socio-economic stability and economic performance.
Years of conflict – compounded by the degradation of natural resources, limited food production, climate change and variability, population growth and widespread unemployment – have made much of Yemen’s population extremely vulnerable.
Hunger affects 10.5 million people (nearly half the nation), including 4.5 million who are severely food insecure. An overlapping 55 percent live in poverty and 35 percent are unemployed. Rural populations are disproportionately vulnerable, accounting for 84 percent of the country’s poor.
Competition over scarce opportunities, resources and services is increasing fast. Yemen’s population is growing by 3.6 percent per year, half of its people are under the age of 15 and 60 percent of youth are jobless. Lack of employment opportunities, particularly for youth, fuels alienation and exclusion from the state and economy, and feeds into conflict, instability and increased migration. Growing numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs), refugees, migrants and returnees throughout Yemen are exerting further unsustainable pressure.
Once self-sufficient in cereals, Yemen now depends on oil revenue to import nearly all of the country’s food. Around 95 percent of cereals consumed and 85 percent of overall foodstuffs were imported in 2013.
Rising international commodity prices further threaten the food consumption and dietary diversity of Yemen’s poor, as families must spend more money for the same amount of food. To cope, poor households often cut other critical expenses, such as schooling and medical care.
There is tremendous need, scope and potential to strengthen agriculture in Yemen. The sector – encompassing crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry production – employs over half of the labour force and provides a livelihood to two out of three people. Despite severe resource constraints, agriculture remains one of the most promising sectors in terms of employment creation, economic growth and trade development.