Food security in Yemen has deteriorated further since the last IPC analysis conducted in June 2016. An estimated 17 million people, which is equivalent to 60% of the total Yemeni population, are food insecure and require urgent humanitarian assistance to save lives and protect livelihoods. Among those, approximately 10.2 million people are in IPC Phase 3 ‘crisis’ and 6.8 million people are in IPC Phase 4 ‘emergency’. Nationally, the population under Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) has increased by 20% compared to the results of the June 2016 IPC analysis.
Conflict and civil insecurity are the main drivers of food insecurity with devastating effects on livelihoods and the nutrition situation.
Displacement: As of January 2017, over 2 million individuals were displaced across 21 governorates mainly due to the conflict. 85% of the conflict related IDPs come from Taiz, Hajjah, Sana’a City, Sa’ada and Sana’a Governorates. In February 2017, the Task Force on Population Movements reported an additional 44,226 IDPs, with the majority (31,860 individuals) from Taiz Governorate (Al Mokha and Dhubab districts), followed by Al Hodaidah Governorate with 9,162 people.
Livelihoods and market disruptions: The widespread civil insecurity has affected both urban and rural livelihoods resulting in protracted and continuous worsening of the food security situation. Restrictions and disruptions of commercial and humanitarian imports, mass displacements, loss of income, fuel scarcity and high prices, disrupted market systems, high food prices and the collapse of public services are aggravating the already fragile socio-economic context. Port infrastructure, essential for ensuring food imports and humanitarian assistance, are seriously threatened by the worsening conflict. Cultivated area and production in 2016 decreased by 38% compared to the pre-crisis period, affecting food availability and household stocks. Similarly, the majority of fishermen lost their fishing assets such as boats, nets and fishing gear and essential fishing infrastructure has been damaged.
Economic crisis: The economic status of 78% households in Yemen is currently worse than in the pre-crisis period. This is mainly due to public budget deficit, which has led to a reduction in government expenditures, delayed or total unavailability of salaries for government employees since September 2016, collapse of the social protection system, liquidity crunch of the local currency, depreciation of the Yemeni Riyal against the US Dollar and depletion of central bank reserves. The economic meltdown aggravated and affected all dimensions of food security, especially food availability and access.
Acute malnutrition is a major outcome of the severe food insecurity and is at alarming levels. Malnutrition has been a serious problem in Yemen for a long time, especially chronic malnutrition (stunting). However, the prevalence of acute malnutrition (wasting) has been rising in recent years, peaking in the last three years. Out of 22 governorates of Yemen, four governorates (Abyan, Taiz, Al Hodaidah, and Hadramout) have Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) prevalence above the WHO emergency threshold (≥15%). Seven and eight governorates have GAM prevalence at critical levels (10-14.9%) and serious levels (5-9.9%), respectively.
Humanitarian assistance to most affected governorates did not fully cover the targeted beneficiaries in 2016. Main challenges faced are; lack of funding, the ongoing conflict, restricted movements of humanitarian aid workers and procurement and transportation of lifesaving supplies. Going forward, unconditional humanitarian access must be facilitated by all parties for all humanitarian actors to reach the most affected populations and scaled up to reach the demands of the growing population in need.
Worst affected Governorates: Out of 22 governorates, Seven Governorates are in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency) –Lahej, Taiz, Abyan, Sa’ada, Hajjah, Al Hodaidah, and Shabwah. Ten Governorates are in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) – Aden, Amran, Dhamar, Sana’a Governorate, Sana’a City, Ibb, Marib, Raymah, Al Mahwit, and Hadramout, and three Governorates are in IPC Phase 3! - Al Jawf, Al-Dale’e, and Al Bayda.