In Yemen, an estimated 22.2 million people require humanitarian assistance in order to meet their basic needs, including 17.8 million people who require emergency food assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Due to ongoing conflict, Yemen faces the largest food security emergency in the world, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). FEWS NET reports that 3.5 million people across Yemen face Emergency (IPC 4)* levels of food insecurity, and famine is possible if food imports drop or conflict further restricts markets and humanitarian access.
In November 2017, a Saudi Arabia-led military coalition of countries involved in the Yemen conflict enacted a blockade of all of Yemen’s ports. While the coalition has since re-opened the ports to humanitarian and commercial shipments, import levels have not returned to pre-blockade levels as of March 2018. Even in the absence of additional disruptions, FEWS NET reports that certain populations face the threat of Catastrophe (IPC 5) conditions in 2018 as vulnerable people exhaust their coping capacities, such as selling assets or incurring debt to buy food, and are unable to access adequate food to meet their basic needs.
*The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal (IPC 1) to Famine (IPC 5).
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) has contributed $201 million to date to support UN partners in Yemen, including the UN World Food Program (WFP). WFP targets approximately 7 million severely food-insecure individuals with in-kind food assistance and food vouchers across 20 of Yemen’s 22 governorates.
Since the beginning of FY 2017, FFP has supported UN and other non-governmental organization (NGO) implementing partners with more than $550 million in emergency food assistance, including the provision of U.S.-sourced wheat, peas and vegetable oil, locally- and regionally-procured food and food vouchers to Yemen’s most vulnerable populations.
FFP support also provides therapeutic nutritional products to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the treatment of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Yemen. Additionally, FFP supports the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as the lead coordinating body for the cluster of international organizations responding to food insecurity in Yemen.