SANA’A –The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a new £25 million (US$33 million) contribution from the United Kingdom to support more than 1.2 million people in Yemen, amid mounting fears of a potential famine in the country.
“The Government of the United Kingdom has been a critical financial contributor and advocate for WFP’s operations in Yemen,” said WFP Yemen Representative Stephen Anderson. “This contribution could not be more timely as the food security situation in Yemen is deteriorating at a rapid pace, despite continued food assistance to nearly eight million people across the country.”
WFP will use the funds to roll out a cash-based transfer programme in southern Yemen and to support over 800,000 very hungry people with food vouchers for one month.
Yemen is currently grappling with the world’s largest hunger crisis, with two-thirds of the population not knowing where their next meal will come from. In addition, Yemen is among five countries with the highest prevalence of acute malnutrition in the world, with 300,000 children under the age of five at risk of dying from causes related to malnutrition.
To do its part in tackling this widespread humanitarian crisis, WFP stands ready to further scale-up its caseload, given increased needs following the recent collapse of the Yemeni Riyal, which has pushed up the cost of basic food items by a third, compared to this time last year.
WFP’s ability to respond to escalating needs in the country hinges on timely and sustained finan-cial contributions from donor nations. The UK government has been one of WFP’s most consistent and reliable partners in Yemen, and has provided a total of £77.2 million (US$102 million) between 2017 and 2018 to support emergency food programmes, including through logistical and nutrition support. WFP nutritional support has so far prevented and treated acute malnutrition among 300,000 pregnant and nursing women across the country.
By providing such a generous package of assistance, the UK Government is showing its strong dedication to averting famine in Yemen.
WFP is currently scaling up to provide life-saving food assistance to nearly eight million people a month in Yemen— an effort that will require at least US$87.2 million in funding through March 2019.
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