The European Union and WFP join efforts against hunger in Yemen
Conditions in Yemen have worsened this year, with 17.4 million people currently in need of food assistance. Between June and December 2022, the latest projections show that the number of people unable to meet their minimum nutrition needs will reach a record 19 million people. This analysis (from the Integrated Phase Classification) also projects that the number of people facing famine-like conditions could increase five-fold in the second half of 2022 — from 31,000 to 161,000 people.
“Thousands of Yemenis are already on the edge of famine and many more are threatened by intensified fighting. Yemen is also suffering an increase of food prices resulting from the war in Ukraine, which has impacted global food supply. The EU will continue supporting Yemen,” said European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič. “After seven years of conflict, the level of suffering in Yemen is indescribable and the humanitarian response is worryingly underfunded. This is the time for the international community to step up its funding and for warring parties to bring this conflict to an end.”
In 2021, donors — including the EU — provided $1.4 billion to WFP’s operations in Yemen. This allowed WFP to resume full rations to families facing the highest levels of food insecurity, and prevented widespread famine. But tentative progress is quickly being undone because of a lack of new funding.
“The scale of the crisis in Yemen is truly staggering — and we urgently need funding to reach millions in desperate need before it is too late,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley. “Since the war in Ukraine began, some prices in Yemen have increased sevenfold — a devastating blow to families already on the brink. We can’t risk reaching a point of no return. We welcome this contribution from the European Union, which has consistently supported WFP’s work in Yemen and helped us get life-saving food to the most vulnerable children and their families.”
With the EU’s support, WFP will maintain the use of cash transfers to deliver food assistance, allowing beneficiaries to decide upon the food they prefer. Cash transfers provide immediate relief for struggling families while also having a multiplier effect on the local economy, building economic resilience.
Over the last seven years, the EU has contributed approximately EUR 300 million to WFP’s Yemen operation out of a total of EUR 827 million made available to alleviate humanitarian needs in Yemen since the onset of the conflict. In addition, the EU continuously advocates for an accountable and transparent humanitarian response in the war-torn country. WFP is the EU’s largest partner in Yemen.
This EU contribution specifically provides for nutrition support to vulnerable Yemenis — at a time when acute malnutrition among young children and mothers is on the rise. The EU’s support to fight malnutrition recognizes the importance of integrating food security and nutrition activities as part of WFP’s humanitarian response.
In 2022, WFP aims to reach 12.9 million people in Yemen with emergency food assistance, 3.7 million children & mothers with malnutrition treatment & prevention, 2.4 million schoolchildren with school feeding programmes, and 1.5 million Yemenis with livelihoods programmes.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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