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 (OCHA), as of December 2017.
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 in Yemen if food imports drop and/or conflict further restricts markets and humanitarian access.
In November 2017, a Saudi Arabia-led military coalition of countries involved in Yemen’s civil war enacted a blockade of Yemen’s ports, hindering the flow of commercial and humanitarian shipments into the country. Because the blockade has slowed the inflow of both commercial and humanitarian food and fuel, FEWS NET predicts that populations across Yemen will experience Famine (IPC 5) conditions in 2018 if the blockade is not completely lifted.
To date in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) has contributed $130 million to support the UN World Food Program (WFP) emergency food assistance operations in Yemen. WFP targets 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 WFP and other non-governmental organization (NGO) implementing partners with nearly $500 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 experiencing severe acute malnutrition in Yemen. Additionally, FFP supports the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as a lead coordinating body for the cluster of international organizations responding to food insecurity in Yemen.