Yemen Market Watch Report, Issue No. 12 (April 2017)

Situation Report
Originally published
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  • Prices of food and fuel commodities continued to decline slightly in April 2017 due to slightly improved availability, but remained to be much higher than the pre-crisis levels.

  • The cost of the minimum food basket marginally dropped in April compared to March 2017, but 24% higher than in precrisis period.

  • Availability of food and fuel commodities generally remained unchanged or slightly improved in April 2017 due to better imports through the sea ports and continued informal cross border overland in-flows.

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

Macroeconomic Situation

The prolonged conflict in Yemen has had devastating consequences on the entire socio-economic situation of the country and leading to the collapse of basic public services including the health system. As the conflict continues and the suffering of millions of Yemenis persists, over two thirds of the population are in urgent need of some kind of humanitarian or protection support.

A High level Pledging Conference for Yemen held in Geneva on 25 April raised about $1.1 billion. While the conference has been hailed as a success in that it placed Yemen at the center of attention for the international community, the total amount of the pledges made during the conference only represent half of the requirement of the 2017 YHRP and include monies already received against the YHRP. The conference stressed the need to avert further disaster in Yemen by making the pledges effective immediately given the risk of famine faced by almost seven million Yemenis.

Given the fact that most of the health facilities are not fully functioning and coupled with the severe lack of essential medicines, the current reported wide spread outbreak of cholera in the country is feared to further complicate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Lack of foreign currencies and worsening depreciation of Yemen Riyal (YER) against US Dollar (USD) is also aggravating the situation. Although the official exchange rate remained at YER250/USD, the rates in parallel markets in April 2017 reached to as high as 360YER/USD in many places of the country including the capital.