Food security in Yemen continues to worsen, with 19 out of 22 governorates now classified as being in ‘crisis’ or ‘emergency’. Half the population is food insecure and nearly a quarter is severely food insecure, with the situation expected to steadily worsen.
Conflict, insecurity and reductions in fuel imports are driving up prices and pushing already struggling families to the brink.
Yemen desperately needs a pause in fighting, increased access and funding for humanitarian assistance, and an immediate large-scale resumption of commercial imports.
Deepening Food Insecurity
A new analysis released today shows that the number of food insecure people in Yemen has increased by 17 per cent since the escalation of the conflict end of March. There are now more than 12.9 million people without adequate access to food, 2.3 million more than in March. This includes six million people who are severely food insecure – 23 per cent out of a population of 26 million – and one million more than in March. Levels of acute malnutrition are rising, while many resort to negative coping mechanisms to survive. Nineteen out of 22 governorates are now classified as experiencing food crisis.
A joint analysis of household food security by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation in Yemen (MoPIC), released today in Sana’a, has found that Yemen is sliding into catastrophe. More than six million Yemenis are currently in a Phase 4 Emergency, and nearly 6.9 million people are in a Phase 3 Crisis: These figures indicate that conflict and the lack of food and fuel in the markets are pushing Yemen towards a complete breakdown in food security and health.
For a country that, prior to March, imported 90 per cent of its food stocks and the vast majority of its fuel, the current import reductions are having a dramatic effect on the people’s ability to access food. Prices of wheat flour have nearly doubled in some places, sugar prices have risen by up to nearly 150 per cent, and cooking gas by up to over 300 per cent since late March. Fuel for milling staple grain and transporting food has risen by up to nearly 1,400 per cent and is unavailable in seven out of 22 governorates. Households are under increasing pressure to put meals on the table, particularly for the one million internally displaced Yemenis and the 200,000 people hosting some of them in their homes around the country.
Humanitarian partners are working to deliver emergency food assistance with utmost urgency, as well as cash transfers, seeds and vaccination of livestock, which are staving off some household stress. However, security, access, and financial constraints continue to limit the number of those reached.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.