Overview of the Nutrition Situation as of 31 March 2017
The prevalence of acute malnutrition in Yemen has continued to increase over the past three years. The severity of the nutrition situation in Yemen varies by both district and governorate. Acute malnutrition shows higher rates in the densely populated Northwest of the country, along the Red Sea coastline and following the Arabian Sea coastline into Abyan governorate. Currently available data shows that 4 of the country’s 22 governorates have critical nutrition situations, either in the whole governorate or partially (see map 1), exceeding WHO classifications of a critical situation (GAM > 15 percent).
Due to a worsening health, food security, water, sanitation and hygiene situation, it is expected that nutrition situation in Yemen will deteriorate further taking into account the ongoing conflict, especially in vulnerable groups such as children under five years and women of reproductive age (15 to 49 years). The March 2017 Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) reports that an estimated 17 million Yemeni people (60 percent of the population) are food insecure, including 6.8 million who are severely food insecure and require urgent humanitarian assistance to save lives and protect livelihoods. Approximately 10.2 million people are in IPC Phase 3 (crisis) and 6.8 million in IPC Phase 4 (emergency), which is an increase of 20 percent from the June 2016 IPC analysis. Seven governorates - Lahj, Taiz, Abyan, Sa’ada, Hajjah, Hodeida and Shabwa – are classified as IPC Phase 4, and three governorates are in Phase 3! – Al Jawf, Al Dhale’e and Al Bayda – which will become IPC Phase 4 without immediate assistance. A further 10 governorates are classified as IPC Phase 3 – Aden, Amran, Dhamar, Sana’a, Sana’a City, Ibb, Mareb, Raymah, Al Mahweet, and Hadhramout. For the 2017 Yemen Humanitarian Needs Overview, the Nutrition Cluster estimated in November 2016 that the burden of children and women with acute malnutrition in 2017 will be 3.2 million, which is a drastic increase from the figure of 1.6 million prior to the escalation of the crisis in 2015. Approximately 1.9 million children under five years are acutely malnourished – 462,000 with severe acute malnutrition (SAM), who risk death without immediate treatment, and 1.5 million with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) whose absolute mortality rates will be higher due to the greater numbers.
An estimated 900,000 million pregnant or lactating women (PLW) are also acutely malnourished making them vulnerable to maternal mortality and varied morbidities that will negatively affect their infants.