SANA’A – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a US$1 million contribution from the Government of Japan to provide much-needed food and nutrition assistance in Yemen over the coming months. With these funds, WFP will be able to assist more than 130,000 people, including some 47,000 nursing mothers and pregnant women in areas hardest hit by cholera.
The people of Yemen are reeling from more than two-plus years of conflict that has given rise to the world’s single worst hunger crisis. In Yemen, more than 17 million people – two in three people – do not know where their next meal is coming from.
“The support from Japan comes at a crucial time for the people of Yemen who are facing unimaginable suffering,” says WFP Yemen Representative and Country Director Stephen Anderson. “Our latest assessments indicate that hunger is highest in the areas worst-impacted by cholera. Those are precisely the areas that we are targeting with our nutrition feeding programmes.”
Since April, cholera has taken more than 2,000 lives, with more than 750,000 suspected cases. Those most at risk are malnourished children who have weakened immune systems.
“We’re very concerned about the dire situation in Yemen and are determined to continue our efforts to alleviate the people’s suffering,” said Charge d’Affairs of Embassy of Japan to Yemen Yoji Hattori.
The Government of Japan has been one of WFP’s most consistent and reliable partners in Yemen. Earlier this year, Japan made contributions to WFP in Yemen totalling US$18 million.
Despite conflict and access constraints affecting its ability to deliver life-saving support, WFP reached a record seven million people with food and nutrition assistance in August. However, due to lack of timely and adequate funding, only half of these people received full rations, while the remainder received only 60 percent of a full food ration.
WFP efforts to avert famine in the country is less than 50 percent funded until the end of 2017. For the coming six months through March 2018, WFP is facing a funding shortfall of US$350 million. Unless more funding is forthcoming, there is a very real risk that more people could sink deeper into hunger and become more vulnerable to illness and death.
WFP also aims to provide nutrition support to 2.9 million children and pregnant and nursing mother through therapeutic food products designed to prevent and treat malnutrition. Meanwhile, WFP is scaling up its logistics and information technology support for UN and other humanitarian organizations responding to the cholera outbreak in Yemen.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
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