SANA’A – The United Nations World Food Programme signed two agreements with Yemen’s Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation today to provide food and nutritional assistance to more than five million people in the country.
Under the terms of the two agreements—officially Letters of Understanding (LOU) —WFP will deliver food, specialized nutritional support and some cash to a range of needy beneficiaries, including food insecure households, internally displaced Yemenis, malnourished mothers and young children and refugees from the Horn of Africa.
“This is a critical time for Yemen and we hope that WFP assistance will contribute to the general stabilization of Yemen at an important moment in the transition process,” said
Lubna Alaman, WFP Country Director, as she signed the LOUs in a ceremony at the Ministry. “We hope that we receive funding to be able to continue our programmes to reduce acute malnutrition among young mothers and children as well as raise the food consumption levels of families struggling to feed their families and others affected by conflict.”
Mohamed Saeed Al-Sa’adi, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation said: “WFP has made significant contributions in Yemen, which have been very important. We hope those operations will continue in the same spirit of open cooperation.” He thanked WFP’s Country Director for her efforts. Minister of Education Abdulrazzaq Alashwal also attended the signing ceremony.
The LOUs cover two WFP programmes. The first involves a year-long US$242 million emergency operation that the agency launched at the beginning of 2013. It targets three main areas: delivering emergency food assistance to 3.5 million food-insecure people and cash to another 400,000; distributing food assistance to 600,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) to some who have returned to their homes and to others affected by conflict; and providing nutritional support to 405,000 children under five and 157,000 nursing mothers and pregnant women threatened by acute malnutrition.
The emergency operation requires a total of 226,000 metric tons of food, including wheat, pulses, vegetable oil, sugar and a range of specialized, micronutrient-enriched products designed to either cure or prevent acute malnutrition.
The second agreement covers a smaller, US$8 million relief and recovery operation to provide food assistance to almost 70,000 refugees in Yemen who have fled conflict or difficult conditions in their home countries in the Horn of Africa. More than 20,000 of these refugees, mainly Somalis, are sheltered at the isolated Kharaz refugee camp outside Aden in Lahj governorate, where they are entirely dependent on WFP rations for survival.
Full implementation of the US$ 250 million cost of the two operations will depend on the continuing generosity of donors. The refugee project is close to being fully funded but only US$ 127 million of the US$ 242 million needed for the emergency operation has been received. Major donors to date include Japan, the United States, Canada, the European Commission, Germany and Finland.
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