WFP Yemen Situation Report #18, 13 December 2015
The Country Office is working on a Budget Revision for its emergency operation, EMOP 200890, which is expected to extend the EMOP until the end of December 2016 and aim, subject to resource, security and access constraints, to scale up assistance to reach 5 million beneficiaries in 20 of Yemen’s 22 governorates. It also aims to provide nutritional support to 1.8 million malnourished children and women.
As of 30 November, WFP has distributed High Energy Biscuits (HEBs) to over 24,900 people in Shabwah and Hadramaut governorates under the Cyclones Chapala and Megh response. WFP had prepositioned 30 mt of HEBs in Mukalla, Hadramaut, in advance of the cyclone, and plans to reach 25,000 affected people with HEB assistance.
As part of the humanitarian push to reach the conflict-ravaged governorate of Taiz, on 08 December a total of 31 WFP trucks carrying 562 mt of food (enough for 53,000 people for one month) arrived in Taiz City. These trucks add to the four WFP trucks carrying 77 mt of food that reached Taiz City on 26 November. More trucks are being planned for Taiz, although convoys have been stuck at checkpoints and only very limited assistance has been allowed in.
Due to a shortage of wheat and pulses in stock, and in order to ensure the coverage of 3 million people in December, WFP will need to reduce individual beneficiary entitlements to 75 percent of the full 2,100 kcal entitlement for the month of December. This reduction will only affect wheat and pulses entitlements, and other commodities in the food basket will remain unchanged. WFP urgently needs funds totalling USD 78 million to cover its immediate shortfalls in January and February.
Fighting has intensified in Taiz governorate, a Phase 4 (pre-famine)-classified governorate, since Saudiled coalition forces renewed their offensive on 16 November to take control of Taiz from Houthi forces. Coalition forces have taken control of much of northern Taiz, and airstrikes targeted Taiz’s airport on 17 November. The WFP-led Logistics Cluster are reporting that Taiz is accessible by road from Aden, although checkpoints and insecurity are significantly impeding ongoing attempts to deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance. The need for immediate access to Taiz City was highlighted by the Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Stephen O’Brien, in a statement on 24 November. O’Brien said that it was “unacceptable” that aid destined for Taiz was reportedly being diverted elsewhere.
UN-led peace talks between the Yemeni Government and Houthi groups are expected to take place in Geneva on 15 December.