Yemen Market Watch Report, Issue No. 11, March 2017

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 31 Mar 2017 View Original

Highlights

  • Prices of food and fuel commodities showed minor reduction in March 2017, but remained to be much higher than the pre-crisis levels.

  • The cost of the minimum food basket slightly decreased in March compared to the previous month, but was still 26% higher than in pre-crisis period.

  • Availability of food and fuel commodities generally remained unchanged in March 2017 due to low level of imports through the sea ports and reduced amount of informal cross border overland entries.

  • According to Alert for Price Spikes (ALPS) methodology, in March 2017, wheat flour persisted to be under stress situation, while vegetable oil and red beans remained on alert status, and sugar continued to be at crisis level. The ALPS indicator for the cost of the minimum food basket remained at alert status.

Macroeconomic Situation

As the conflict in Yemen enters into the third year, the magnitude and severity of human suffering continues to accelerate alarmingly. The ongoing conflict has led to massive destruction of basic infrastructure, loss of livelihoods, disruption of social services, and is rapidly pushing the country towards social, economic and institutional collapse. Salary payments for public sector employees have been disrupted for several months in many parts of the country.

About 60% of the population are currently facing hunger including onefourth of Yemenis who are at risk of severe conditions. The dire situation forced about two-third of the country’s population to use negative coping strategies, compared to 40% before the crisis. More than half of Yemeni households found themselves indebted for food, compared to only one-third two years earlier. All these rapidly worsening conditions suggest that the country is at a high risk of facing a widespread catastrophic humanitarian crisis.

Commercial imports of basic commodities into Yemen and business activities continued to suffer from the lack of foreign currencies and continued depreciation of Yemen Riyal (YER) against US Dollar (USD).
Although the official exchange rate continued to be YER250/USD, the rates in parallel markets in March 2017 ranged between 330YER/USD to 355YER/USD.