© WFP/Ahmend Basha
Even before fighting broke out in early 2015, Yemen was one of the poorest countries in the Arab world. With an average life expectancy below 64, the nation is ranked 178th out of 189 for human development.
Nearly four years of conflict have left thousands of civilians dead and 3.6 million internally displaced. Its impact on the country’s infrastructure has been devastating, with major overland routes and airports severely damaged.
Despite ongoing humanitarian assistance, 15.9 million people wake up hungry every day. It is estimated that, in the absence of food assistance, this number would go up to 20 million.
Lack of immediate and unhindered access to people who urgently need food assistance – compounded by a shortage of funding – means that famine is a possibility for millions of people, mostly women and children who are already hungry in this war-torn country.
Malnutrition rates among women and children in Yemen remain among the highest in the world, with more than a million women and 2 million children requiring treatment for acute malnutrition. This represents a 57 percent increase since late 2015 and threatens the lives and life-long prospects of those affected.
Access constraints continue to pose a serious challenge to WFP in several areas especially where conflict is intense. Despite access and security challenges, WFP and its partners manage to deliver assistance to the vast majority of vulnerable people in the country.
WFP is providing food assistance for those most urgently in need of support in what has emerged as one of the world’s worst hunger crises. WFP’s average requirements are around US$200 million per month as we continue to scale up our operations to reach 12 million people each month. WFP urgently needs some US$600 million to ensure uninterrupted food assistance for the next six months (September 2019 to February 2020).
What the World Food Programme is doing in Yemen
In-kind food assistanceIn 2019, WFP is scaling up to provide 12 million people with monthly food assistance through direct food distributions or vouchers that people can use at retailers in areas where the markets are functioning. Each family of six gets a monthly ration of wheat flour, pulses, vegetable oil, sugar and salt.
Cash assistanceWFP plans to gradually increase its cash assistance to 1 million people in 2019. To support this programme WFP is registering beneficiaries on a new biometric platform. Through this system, people will receive cash transfers equivalent to US$12 per person per month, which will inject much-needed liquidity into the economy.
Nutrition assistanceIn response to high acute, moderate and severe malnutrition rates among children, WFP is providing nutritional support to 1.5 million pregnant and nursing women and children under 5 and will gradually scale up to reach nearly 3 million by the end of 2019.
Assistance to refugeesWFP is currently providing food assistance to 8,500 refugees from the Horn of Africa in Kharaz camp in Lahj governorate.
School feedingWFP is targeting 600,000 students across Yemen for the 2018-2019 school year, with plans to expand to 900,000 students upon the start of the new school year in September 2019.
LogisticsThe WFP-managed UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) continues to transport humanitarian aid workers between Sana’a, Djibouti and Amman. In addition, the Logistics Cluster facilitates a weekly sea transport shuttle for humanitarian workers between Aden and Djibouti.