Hunger in the news

7 July 2009

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is urgently appealing to partners for additional support to help the agency address critical levels of hunger and malnutrition in Yemen. (..) “Volatile food and fuel prices combined with conflict and natural disasters over the past years have severely affected the country, leaving more than one in three Yemenis suffering from chronic hunger,” said WFP Representative in Yemen Gian Carlo Cirri.

18 June 2009

In an effort to prevent malnutrition, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Ministry of Public Health and Population signed a relief convention for assisting people affected by high food prices at a coast of $13, 55,384. The one-year convention will address 211,850 people. The programme aims at reducing acute malnutrition among under-five children and women in a number of districts.

7 June 2009

Yemen, stricken by a toxic cocktail of drought, economic crisis and political unrest, could suffer famine next year, an adviser to President Ali Abdullah Saleh said. (..) The U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) classifies Yemen, an impoverished land on the southern edge of the Arabian peninsula, as the most food-insecure country in the Middle East. "Definitely we are concerned," WFP's deputy country director Adham Musallam said from Sanaa, adding that Yemen's economic plight was a bigger factor in any food crisis than the drought.

1 April 2009

Delays in distributing food aid are generating anger and despair among people in the southern Yemeni governorate of Hadhramaut affected by the October 2008 floods, flood-displaced people and community leaders say. [...] The government has asked the World Food Programme (WFP) to handle food distribution. “We agreed with them in November, signed the contracts in December and handed over the food items to them in February,” Fahad al-Ajam, deputy governor of Hadhramaut, told IRIN. Sasha Hafez, WFP’s senior logistics assistant, told IRIN in Seyoun there had been delays: “It seems there have been some kind of administrative disputes… We received the second batch [of food] for distribution in March.” [...] “For reasons we don’t know, they [government officials] are not revealing how much food they have in their warehouses. WFP is only the logistics organiser for this operation,” said Hafez, explaining that such information was vital in order to plan and coordinate future food shipments with donors. WFP was now combining in its distributions food items from donors and those from the government, and trying to shift perishable items first, he said.

12 March 2009

High prices last year aggravated food insecurity among poor households, which were already suffering severe food insecurity, according to a report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). World Food Program (WFP) representative in Yemen Giancarlo Cirri was citied as saying Yemen is one of the most food-insecure countries globally and the most food-insecure in the Middle East. [...] “High food prices have affected the entire country. But certain areas which are poorer than others were most affected. These include the governorates of Saada, Amran, Hajjah, Hudeidah, Lahj, Al-Jawf, Al-Baidha, and Hadramaut,” said Cirri.

15 February 2009

Almost 80 percent of the first batch of wheat donated by the United Arab Emirates has been distributed to those in need, according to Deputy General Manager of the Yemeni Economic Corporation for Trade Affairs Abdullah Al-Kuhali. [...] According to a recent assessment by the World Food Program, families in remote villages in Yemen are regularly skipping meals and spending over two-thirds of their income on food due to high international prices, forcing some families to pull children out of school because they cannot afford to keep them there.

9 February 2009

John Powell: “Sometimes if our food is sold in the markets it is not sold because of corruption, but maybe because locals who sell it do so in order to buy something else, like selling flour to buy rice with the money received. However, we would be very concern if cases like this happened.”

5 February 2009

John M Powell, United Nations Assistant Secretary General and WFP Deputy Executive Director, visited Yemen from 26-30 January and signed an agreement with the government to provide food aid for 500,000 of the poorest Yemenis with 30,000 metric tones of assorted food commodities . Nationwide WFP is feeding 43,500 Somali refugees. Salma Ismail of the Yemen Times met with Powell and interviewed him.

27 January 2009

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Yemen signed an agreement to feed more than half a million of the poorest Yemenis. [...] John M Powell, UN assistant secretary general and deputy executive director, signed the agreement on behalf of WFP. He will also travel to Aden, where WFP is providing food to 43,500 Somali refugees. Yemen is one of the countries hardest hit by increased food prices and, according to the 2008 Food and Agriculture Organisation’s State of Food Insecurity Report, one in three Yemenis now suffers from chronic hunger, this means some 7.7 million people.

26 January 2009

"I scratch my head in surprise when I see Al-Saleh Mosque," said 42 year-old farmer Ali Najee Thabet. The opening of the giant new mosque named after Yemen's president 2 months ago has confused the poor throughout the country, mainly when they hear it cost a surprising $60 million, a massive amount in a country where poor people are struggling to survive. [...] The United Nation World Food Program (WFP) Representative and Country Director Mohamed El-Kohen revealed that WFP warns of new horror times across the globe for poor people in Yemen, mainly because of the price hikes, hinting that hunger and food shortage are the way to political instability, especially in a country which many of its population are wracked by poverty. Additionally, WFP reported that Yemen is the second poorest Arab state, just next to Somalia. Yemen's current population is estimated over 22 million and it has the highest birth mortality rate in the world with an average of nearly 7 children per woman.