The currency crisis in Yemen is driving millions of people one step closer to famine [EN/AR]

News and Press Release
Originally published


Sana’a, 5 October 2018 – Millions of hungry and destitute Yemenis are being impacted by the rapid and uncontrolled devaluation of the Yemeni Rial.

“Yemen is already the worst humanitarian crisis in the world,” said Ms. Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen. “For years, countless people across the country have been surviving on the thinnest of margins.”

“When the price of wheat or cooking oil or milk in local markets increases, even by the smallest amount, the impact is catastrophic and immediate. Families who have been able to barely buy what they need are suddenly no longer able to,” said Ms. Grande.

Prices for basic commodities have risen sharply in the past four weeks, driven by the rapid devaluation of the Rial. In the past month, the cost of a minimum family food basket has increased 11 per cent; diesel has risen 45 per cent and cooking oil has skyrocketed by as much as 200 per cent in hard-hit areas.

“The UN’s World Food Programme and partners are providing food assistance to nearly 8 million desperately hungry people each month. If the Rial continues its downward spiral, 3.5 to 4 million more Yemenis will fall into pre-famine conditions,” said Ms. Grande.

“The situation is already unbearable,” said Ms. Grande. “It will become irreversible unless something is done to save the Rial.”

Twenty-two million people, 75 per cent of the population in Yemen, require some form of humanitarian assistance and protection. The UN and partners are requesting USD 3 billion through the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan to support millions of people in need across the country. To date, USD 1.92 billion, 65 per cent of the resources required, has been received.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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