SANA’A – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed today a contribution of some US$13 million from the Government of Japan to support WFP providing desperately-needed food assistance to seven million people in Yemen.
This contribution comes at a time when two-thirds of people in Yemen do not have enough food and many areas are showing worrying signs of deteriorating food security. WFP and other humanitarian partners are stepping up operations to prevent the onset of famine, which is feared largely as a result of two years of devastating conflict and decades of chronic food insecurity.
“This contribution could not have come at a better time as WFP is doing its utmost to meet the urgent food needs of several million people each month,” said WFP Yemen Country Director Stephen Anderson. “Yemen is currently the world’s largest food insecurity emergency. WFP is extremely grateful to the people and the Government of Japan for this timely contribution that will substantially boost WFP efforts to get urgent food support to the people who need it most and help prevent the most vulnerable people in Yemen from slipping into famine.”
Preliminary results of a Yemen Emergency Food Security and Nutrition Assessment indicate that the number of food-insecure people has jumped by three million over the past seven months. Now an estimated 17 million people do not know where their next meal is coming from. Among these, about seven million people are considered to be severely food insecure and require immediate, adequate and sustained emergency food assistance. People that are severely food insecure are the main focus of WFP efforts in Yemen.
In February 2017, WFP reached a record 4.9 million people in Yemen with emergency food assistance, despite a challenging operational environment and access constraints. However, due to funding limitations, WFP is currently unable to provide a full, regular ration and is providing food that is about one-third of the recommended caloric requirements of 2,100 kilocalories per person per day. If urgent funds are not secured in time, WFP food stocks will run out next month.
“Food security is one of the main pillars Japan focuses on in addressing the very worrying humanitarian situation in Yemen,” said Katsuyoshi Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan to Yemen. “I hope our new funding, as part of international efforts to save Yemen from this miserable plight, will contribute to alleviating ordinary Yemeni people’s suffering.”
Japan is a long-standing partner of Yemen, and has invested substantially in the human security of the Yemeni people through the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the private sector, and UN organizations such as WFP. However, development gains from past years are now being rapidly eroded by conflict. Japan is among the top donors to WFP globally and to Yemen.
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WFP is the leading humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
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