Yemen Socio-Economic Update, Issue 5 - July 2015 [EN/AR]


Increasing Food Insecurity in Yemen in light of Successive Crises

First: Food Insecurity Trends

Food security is a situation in which all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food, which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life (World Food Summit, 1996).

In 2003, food insecurity among people in Yemen was 22%. The percentage doubled (44%) in 2008 due to the triple F-crisis: the soaring world fuel and food prices and the global financial crisis. However, the percent of food insecurity fell to 32% in 2009, and then went up again to 44.5% in 2011 as a result of the negative repercussions that accompanied the political change process in the country, 40 percent higher than in 2009.

In March-April 2014, 41.1% of the population was food insecure— 8% less than in 2011. Food insecurity is concentrated more in rural areas as around 48% of the total rural population were found to be food insecure, compared to 26%in urban areas. Despite the decline in the percentage of chronic malnutrition among children under five from 46.6% in 2011 to 41.3% in 2014, it remains one of the highest in the world (The CFSS -2014).

In 2015, the food security status worsened unprecedentedly as a result of the negative impacts of the ongoing armed conflict in Yemen since March 2015. According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, around 48.3% of the population (12.9 million) is food insecure, with an increase by 21% compared to 2014. Food insecurity is divided into five phases, but Yemen hasn›t yet reached the last phase (famine), since around 22.7% of the population are placed within the fourth phase «emergency», and 25.6% are in the third phase «crisis» (Food Security Information Systems Development Program, June 2015)..

Concerning child malnutrition, 850,000 children under five years old suffered from acute malnutrition prior to the crisis. Currently, 1.3 million children at risk of becoming malnourished. Acute malnutrition carries the highest risk of death - nine times higher than for a healthy child (Humanitarian Response Plan-2015).