Yemen Food Security Outlook October 2019 to May 2020
Large scale assistance needs and risk of famine (IPC Phase 5) likely to persist as war nears five years
Ongoing conflict continues to disrupt livelihoods, reduce incomes, and drive very poor macroeconomic conditions including significantly high prices of food and non-food commodities. It is estimated that approximately 17 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, representing the largest food insecure population in the world. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are widespread. A risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) persists under a worst-case scenario in which conflict significantly disrupts port operations or cuts off food supply for a prolonged period of time.
Fuel shortages since September have impacted humanitarian operations in Sana’a and other Houthi-controlled areas in northern and central Yemen. This has negatively impacted livelihoods and exacerbated logistical challenges already faced in delivering assistance. Despite these and conflict-related constraints, humanitarian assistance has scaled-up in 2019, driving some food security improvements. Assistance deliveries are expected to continue during the projection period, though delays and pipeline breaks remain possible.
Conflict and flooding in western areas of Yemen have increased displacements and led to access constraints. In September, increased conflict was observed in Al Hudaydah and Hajjah. In Aden, conflict subsided in September after high levels in August. However, escalated conflict in surrounding Abyan and Shabwah provinces is ongoing. Meanwhile, heavy rainfall since late September is causing flooding in southern areas of Yemen.