Yemen Key Message Update, March 2016
Year-long war drives Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food insecurity
The year-long war has severely disrupted livelihoods, reduced household purchasing power, and limited poor households’ access to food through market purchases, the most important food source in Yemen. In the absence of improved humanitarian access, major populations are expected to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) or Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity, depending on the area, between now and September 2016.
The value of the Yemeni Rial will likely depreciate in the coming months. In addition to causing food prices to rise, this will likely lead to increased prices for agricultural inputs, such as diesel, fertilizer and urea. Already, fertilizer price in Hadramaut have increased by 53 percent in January compared to pre-crises levels, according to FAO. As agriculture is an important livelihood activity for the majority of Yemen’s population, this could reduce labor opportunities and incomes among poor households, further stressing food access.
The latest WFP Access Constraints Map indicates that many roads into Ta’izz Governorate remain closed. This will likely contribute to a continuation of elevated food and fuel prices, which are already the highest across all monitored markets at Al Ma’afer market. In this governorate, livelihood disruptions and poor household purchasing power will drive the depletion of assets (ex. selling lands) and food consumption gaps for poor households, in line with Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food insecurity, through at least September 2016.
A ceasefire and peace talks are currently scheduled for April. If these negotiations lead to a longer term ceasefire, this could contribute to some recovery in market functioning, macroeconomic conditions, and livelihoods, and improved food access compared to current projections.
For more detailed analysis, see the Food Security Outlook for February – September 2016.