New food security analysis forecasts an alarming increase in the number of people facing high levels of acute food insecurity by end of 2020
A new Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) analysis released by the World Food Program (WFP), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 22 July, warns that economic shocks, conflict, floods, locusts and COVID-19 could reverse food security gains in Yemen. The report, which analyzes the situation of 7.9 million people in 133 districts in southern governorates, forecasts an alarming increase in the number of people facing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 and IPC Phase 4), from 2 million (25 per cent of the population) to 3.2 million (40 per cent of the population) in the next six months, even if existing levels of food assistance are maintained. This would reverse improvements made since the 2018/2019 IPC analysis, when more than half a million people moved below IPC Phase 3, primarily because of a huge scale-up of humanitarian food assistance.
“The IPC is telling us that Yemen is again on the brink of a major food security crisis,” said Ms. Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen. “Eighteen months ago, when we faced a similar situation, we were generously funded. We used the resources we were entrusted with wisely and massively scaledup assistance in the districts where people were the hungriest and most at risk. The result was tremendous. We prevented famine. Unless we receive the funding we need now, we won’t be able to do the same this time.”
Food insecurity is high in areas characterized by fighting, which leads to access restrictions for humanitarian food assistance and to markets, and causes constant population displacements. In terms of severity, the 16 worst affected districts, in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency), are located in 8 governorates: Al Dhale’e (3), Marib (3), Al Bayda (2), Shabwah (2), Abyan (2), Taizz (2), Al Jawf (1) and Hadramaut (1). In terms of magnitude, the governorates with the highest numbers of people in crisis or worse (IPC Phase 3+) are Taizz (590,000), Lahj (487,500) and Hadramaut (465,500). The increase in people in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) and above is concentrated in the six governorates: Abyan, Aden, Al Dhale’e, Hadramaut, Lahj and Taizz, where 83 per cent of the increase is forecast.
The analysis proposes recommendations for urgent action, including continued and unhindered food assistance; protecting the livelihoods of populations most at risk; supporting the rehabilitation of water infrastructures damaged by floods; promoting good nutritional practices; and strengthening early warning and general food security monitoring.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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