Overview of Nutrition Situation in Yemen
It evident that the basic drivers of the humanitarian situation in Yemen such as extreme poverty, volatile commodity prices ,food prices and cost of living, low level of basic services and political instability that also affect negatively the determinants of undernutrition continue to persist. There is no indication that these factors have improved in the first half of 2013. For instance the WFP Yemen Market Watch Report in April 2013 indicated between March and April 2013, the wholesale prices of wheat and wheat flour rose by 11 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively, which may be reflected in the retail prices in the coming months. In June the very report indicated due to sharp increases in the retail price of wheat combined with falls in household purchasing power (as indicated in the changes on Terms of Trade (TOT) between wages and wheat flour), the food security situation of poor households continues to remain precarious.
The nutritional status of children under five and pregnant and lactating women (PLW) is reflective of dire food insecurity situation. An estimated a little over 1 million children are wasted and 2.2 million are stunted.
About 750,000 pregnant and lactating women (PLW) are suffering from undernutrition. The acute malnutrition problem in Yemen emanates from persistence of Food insecurity, High morbidity, poor hygiene and sanitation, poor infant and young child feeding practices. The unacceptably high level of chronic malnutrition among children under five in the country depicts the fact that the various determinants of malnutrition such as household food insecurity, child feeding practices and morbidity from infectious diseases have prevailed so long.
As a result of continued persistence of basic, underlying and immediate determinates of malnutrition, the nutritional status of children and pregnant and lactating women didn’t show sign of improvement. A recent SAMRT nutrition survey conducted in Abyan have revealed the situation in conflict affected districts has deteriorated from serious to critical category. In the second half of 2013 eight governorates ( Al Jawaf , Hodeida, Rayman, Sa’ada, Costal Taize, Lahj, Aden, Parts of Abyan ) continue to experience critical level of acute malnutrition , whereas four other governorates ( Amran, Al Mahawet,
Al Dhale, Parts of Abyan ) are facing a serious acute malnutrition situation. The rest of the country is suffering from a generally poor nutrition situation. There is no up to date data from the Sa‘ada and Al Jawf governorates due to lack of access. However the situation in these governorates is unlikely to be in good shape.
Scaling up nutrition response to highly at risk children under five, Pregnant and lactating women in North East part of the country as well as parts of Abyan governorates continue to be a challenge due to hindered access to these areas.
Provision of supplementary feeding to malnourished children, pregnant and lactating women in South governorates was not possible due to lack of adequate funding and operational difficulties for cluster partners.
By end of July just 38.8% of the required funding of 96 Million USD has been received by cluster partners. As a result of underfunding cluster partners couldn’t address needs of a considerable proportion of acutely malnourished children under five and PLW. If more funding is not secured to scale up response in the months to come , about 350 ,000 acutely malnourished children will remain untreated and further deterioration of nutritional status and will face increased risk of morbidity and death.