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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 177th out of 189 in the 2019 Human Development Index. 

Over five years of conflict have left thousands of civilians dead and 3.65 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, 16.2 million Yemenis are food insecure.

The coordinated response of the humanitarian community has prevented catastrophe in Yemen. But if these interventions stop or are severely hampered, the situation is likely to deteriorate quickly.

Malnutrition rates among women and children in Yemen remain among the highest in the world, with 1.2 million women and 2.3 million children requiring treatment for acute malnutrition. Of these children, 400.000 are at risk of dying without treatment.

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. The COVID-19 pandemic now poses a new threat to the people of Yemen. The economic impact of COVID-19 on countries like Yemen – struggling with poverty and devasted by conflict – may be more devastating than the disease itself.

20.1 million
people face hunger in the absence of food assistance
24 million
people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2020
16.2 million
people are food insecure

What the World Food Programme is doing in Yemen

  • In-kind food assistance

    WFP provides 13 million people with 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 assistance

    WFP is expanding cash assistance in areas of Yemen where markets are stable enough to provide for communities’ basic food needs. 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 assistance

    In response to high acute, moderate and severe malnutrition rates among children, WFP is providing nutritional support to 1.1 million pregnant and nursing women and children under 5.

  • Assistance to refugees

    WFP is currently providing food assistance to 8,500 refugees from the Horn of Africa in Kharaz camp in Lahj governorate.

  • School feeding

    WFP provides daily nutritious snacks – either date bars or high energy biscuits – to 950,000 school children. The programme focuses on areas that have been hard hit by conflict, leading to low levels of school attendance and poor food security.

  • Logistics

    The WFP-managed UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) continues to transport humanitarian aid workers between five key hubs in Yemen and the region. In addition, the Logistics Cluster facilitates regular sea and air transport for humanitarian cargo between Aden, Hodeidah, Sana’a and Djibouti.

Yemen news releases

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Partners and donors

Achieving Zero Hunger is the work of many. Our work in Yemen is made possible by the support and collaboration of our partners and donors, including:
  • Australia
  • China
    Czech Republic
    European Union
  • France
  • Luxembourg
  • Republic of Korea
  • Switzerland
    United Arab Emirates
    United Kingdom
    UN other funds and agencies
  • USA
    Private donors



Diplomatic Area, Nowakshot Street, House No. 22 P.O. Box 7181 Sana'a - Republic of Yemen

Phone: +967 1 214 100

Fax: +967 1 205 515

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