The food security and nutrition situation in Yemen will turn into a humanitarian disaster unless urgent funding is accessible for FAO to timely deliver the inputs needed to: meet the April/May cereal and vegetable planting season and the summer fishing season; and vaccinate livestock in time for winter.
Around 14.4 million people – over half of Yemen’s population – urgently need food security and livelihood assistance.
A reported Desert Locust outbreak threatens the livelihoods of more than 100 000 farmers, beekeepers and herders from five governorates.
49 000 people have been affected by flooding in April 2016 and need urgent assistance.
The volume of food required in Yemen is far greater than humanitarian actors can provide. Agriculture must be an integral part of the humanitarian response to prevent Yemen’s dire food security situation from worsening.
Increasing households’ resilience to food security threats will contribute to saving many lives. Emergency agricultural interventions are critical to preserving household food production – an increasingly vital lifeline, especially in hard to reach areas where aid access is limited – as well as income generation.
FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION CRISIS
The conflict in Yemen has escalated drastically since mid-March 2015, with dire consequences for civilians. Thousands of Yemenis have been injured and killed, and approximately 2.8 million are internally displaced. Around 21.2 million people (nearly 82 percent of the population) need some form of humanitarian support – a 33 percent increase in needs since the conflict began. Yemen was already one of the world’s poorest and most water scarce countries, with the second highest rate of chronic malnutrition among children. The crisis has severely disrupted the agriculture sector, which employs over 50 percent of Yemen’s workforce and is the main source of livelihood for two-thirds of the population. High fuel prices are causing irrigation, transport and marketing costs to soar, leaving farmers with higher production costs than profits. The scarcity of animal feed, forage and veterinary drugs have caused livestock production to decline. Fishing is also highly affected by insecurity, lack of fuel and electricity which is causing spoilage, and market disruptions (internal and exports).
Flooding: Years worth rains continue to fall in Yemen. Flash flooding on 13 and 14 April in seven governorates (Aden, Al Hudaydah, Al Mahwit, Amran, Hajjah, Marib and Sana’a) have affected about 49 000 people and caused significant losses in livelihoods assets as crops were distroyed, livestock and agricultural inputs were lost and pumps for drinking and irrigation water were destroyed. In Sana’a alone, more than 20 700 people are affected and at least 184 households (1 070 people) that had been previously displaced from Saadah and Nehm District have seen their tents washed away by the floods and are in urgent need of shelter and food. Multi-agency response teams and the civil defense effort are responding in Aden, Al Hudaydah, Amran and Hajjah. Further updates are pending ongoing initial assessments by humanitarian partners in Al Mahwit and Marib and by the Executive Unit in Sana’a. FAO already assisted than 6 700 people in Al Hudaydah, Amran and Hajjah with cereal seeds, fertilizers, farm hand tools, vegetable seeds kits, animal vaccination and animal fodder and needs urgent funding to continue operations and target more households in coordination with the agriculture office, local authorities and partners.
Desert Locust (DL) outbreak: DL infestations observed in the southern coastal plain of Shabwah governorate are reported to have shifted into the interior plateau between Thamud and Wadi Hadhramaut and at the western end of Wadi Hadhramaut between Al Aber and Al Sor. More than 100 000 farmers, beekeepers and herders in Al Jawf, Al Mahra, Hadhramout, Marib and Shabwah governorates will be severely affected if control operations are not done on time and crops and pastures are destroyed. FAO is working with the Desert Locust Monitoring and Control Centre to establish the different scenarios and determine the financial requirement for upscaling control measures.