Skip to main content

Aiming to feed 12 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, 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.

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. Some 2.6 million pregnant and nursing women and children under 5 need support to prevent or cure malnutrition. In 2019, WFP is gradually expanding its assistance to reach all of them with special nutrition support.

More than half of all families are buying food on credit, up by almost 50 percent compared to pre-crisis levels. Salary payments for public sector employees have been suspended since September 2016, affecting nearly 30 percent of the Yemeni population who depend on government salaries and pensions.

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. 

20.1 million
people would be food insecure in the absence of sustained food assistance
1.5 million
women and children under 5 receive WFP nutrition support every month
12 million
people wiil receive WFP assistance every month in 2019

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

  • Food assistance

    In 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 assistance

    WFP 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 assistance

    In 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.
  • School feeding

    Since January 2019, WFP has been providing nutritious snacks 665,000 students across Yemen, with plans to expand to 900,000 students upon the start of the new school year in September 2019.
  • Assistance to refugees

    WFP is currently providing food assistance to 8,500 refugees from the Horn of Africa in Kharaz camp in Lahj governorate.
  • 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 2019, WFP aims to provide 12 million people with food and nutrition assistance with 100% rations across Yemen.

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 is facing a significant funding shortfall. WFP urgently needs US$600 million to ensure uninterrupted food assistance for the next six months (until February 2020). WFP's requirement to the end of 2019 (September to December) stand at US$335 million.

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.