A mother with her children receive food at a distribution point in al-Qahira district, Taiz city (January 2016). Photo courtesy of Yemen Ministry Of Education
SANA’A – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) successfully delivered food for 18,000 people inside an area undergoing heavy fighting in the central Yemeni city of Taiz where residents are in desperate need of external food assistance.
The convoy entered the area of Al Qahira carrying 3,000 family rations including vegetable oil, wheat, pulses and sugar -- enough for a family of six for one month.
This is the second time WFP has had access to the Al Qahira conflict zones this year. On January 21 WFP reached Al Qahira and Al Mudaffar, distributing food to 3,000 families.
Saturday’s delivery coincided with a mission to Taiz City where WFP’s Representative and Country Director in Yemen, Purnima Kashyap, met with local officials and witnessed the arrival of humanitarian assistance.
“It makes a big difference for a family living in a hard-to-reach area to know that we will come again; that this is not a one-off delivery and that they can depend on us,” said Kashyap. “We continue to overcome access and security issues in Yemen. It is vital that WFP has regular and safe access to be able to deliver food to families before they fall deeper into hunger.”
WFP has been delivering food assistance to parts of Taiz City since December 2015 reaching as many people in need as possible but with the fighting, it has been difficult to move food to all districts of the city.
Taiz is one of 10 governorates – out of Yemen’s 22 governorates – in the grip of severe food insecurity at ‘Emergency’ level – one step below famine on the five-point Integrated Food Security Phase Classification scale. At least one in five households in the area do not have enough food to lead a healthy life, have lost their livelihoods. Many face life-threatening rates of acute malnutrition.
The conflict has worsened Yemen’s already poor food security situation, adding more than 3 million people to the ranks of the hungry in less than a year. According to the UN’s 2016 Humanitarian Needs Overview, 7.6 million people in Yemen are severely food insecure – a level of need that requires urgent, external, food assistance.
Thanks to a contribution of US$143 million from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia end of 2015, WFP was able to continue to provide vital assistance across Yemen and in hard-to-reach areas in the City of Taiz and elsewhere in the country.
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WFP is the world's largest 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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