The food security situation in Yemen continues to be alarming, driven by ongoing conflict and the combination of cumulative deterioration in macroeconomic conditions, implications of COVID-19, reduction in food assistance and the fuel crisis in areas under control of Sana’a-based authorities, and recently by flash floods across the country.
The Yemeni rial continued to depreciate in areas under the control of the Internationally Recognised Government of Yemen (IRG) during August marking a new all-time trough value of YER 800/USD 1 at the end of August. The exchange rate in areas under the control of the Sana'a-based authorities was however static. The cumulative increase in food prices in 2020 remains concerning. However, monthly inflation in food prices slowed down in IRG areas. Inflation in the cost of the Minimum Food Basket has already crossed the 2018 crisis level benchmark1 by 15 percent and reached YER 6,318/person/month in IRG areas. Purchasing power is gradually eroding; 58 percent of households with poor food access reported in July that unemployment or reduced wages are key shocks for them (see figure 17).
In areas under IRG, inadequate food consumption increased by 9 percentage points in three months to 39 percent in July.
The fuel crisis continued in areas under the control of Sana’a-based authorities with a slight improvement in availability and prices of petrol and diesel, yet with 19 vessels not allowed to enter into Red Sea Ports.2 Prices of petrol and diesel in IRG areas were increased by 15 and 35 percent respectively during the month leading to mid-August.
In July, COVID-19 continued to affect households, challenging their access to medical care and work as households reported in mVAM surveys.