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Aiming to feed nearly 13 million of the most vulnerable people each month, WFP’s emergency response in Yemen is our largest anywhere in the world.

The current level of hunger in Yemen is unprecedented and is causing severe hardship for millions of people. Despite ongoing humanitarian assistance, 16.2 million Yemenis are food insecure. Pockets of famine-like conditions have returned to Yemen for the first time in two years in Hajjah, Amran and Al Jawf, where nearly 50,000 people are living in famine like conditions. Over 5 million people in Yemen are on the brink of famine as the conflict and economic decline have left families struggling to find enough food to get through the day.

The rate of child malnutrition is one of the highest in the world and the nutrition situation continues to deteriorate. A recent survey showed that almost one third of families have gaps in their diets, and hardly ever consume foods like pulses, vegetables, fruit, dairy products or meat. Malnutrition rates among women and children in Yemen remain among the highest in the world, with 1.2 million pregnant or breastfeeding women and 2.3 million children under 5 requiring treatment for acute malnutrition. 

The humanitarian situation in Yemen is extremely fragile and any disruption in the pipeline of critical supplies such as food, fuel and medicines has the potential to bring millions of people closer to starvation and death. WFP calls for unimpeded access to reach those most in need and avert famine.

What the World Food Programme is doing to respond to the Yemen emergency

Food assistance

In 2021, WFP targets to provide nearly 13 million people with food assistance as in-kind rations of flour, pulses, oil, sugar, salt, or voucher or cash to purchase the same quantity of food.

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 receive cash equal to the value of the food basket provided to families, which will inject much-needed liquidity into the economy. Much higher food prices in the south versus the north of Yemen means the cash amount is different.

Nutrition assistance

In response to high acute, moderate and severe malnutrition rates among children and women, WFP targets to provide nutritional support to 3.3 million pregnant and nursing women and children in 2021.

School feeding

WFP provides daily nutritious snacks – either date bars or high energy biscuits – to 1.55 million 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 Sana’a, Djibouti and Amman. In addition, the Logistics Cluster facilitates a weekly sea transport shuttle for humanitarian workers between Aden and Djibouti.

Funding needs

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. In 2021, WFP aims to provide 13  million people with emergency food and nutrition assistance with 100% rations across Yemen.

WFP is facing a significant funding shortfall. WFP urgently needs at least US$1.9 billion to ensure uninterrupted food assistance in 2021

How you can help

Help save lives during hunger emergencies. Right now, hungry families in countries like Yemen are relying on us for food. But WFP’s resources are stretched thin. Be a lifeline today.
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