Conflict in Yemen is the primary driver of the largest food security emergency in the world, with 7 to 10 million people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), or worse, and in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Of this total, at least two million people are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and face an increased risk of mortality.
Though data is limited, food security and nutrition data from the governorate of Al Hudaydah suggest a recent deterioration in outcomes. For example, the number of children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) admitted to treatment programs has increased by roughly 40 percent compared to 2014 and 2015 levels. Similarly, WFP’s mVAM surveys suggest a rise in the governorate’s median reduced coping strategies index (rCSI), as well as an increase in the percentage of the population with a poor food consumption score. Given this deterioration, FEWS NET estimates Al Hudaydah is now facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food insecurity.
Large-scale food assistance, including WFP’s assistance to an average of 3.5 million beneficiaries per month during the months of September and October 2016, is playing an important role in mitigating food insecurity in many areas. However, it is not sufficient to meet Yemen’s current needs. In addition to ensuring humanitarian access to conflict zones, more resources are needed to support the continuation and expansion of humanitarian response within the country.
In December 2016, major wheat importers reported that they would no longer be able to continue wheat imports into Yemen, given financial challenges relating to both the Central Bank of Yemen and the private banking sector. While imports to date have remained adequate to maintain relative price stability for wheat flour between October and November 2016 (WFP), food import levels require close monitoring in the coming weeks given that the country’s high import dependency.