SANA’A – In an ongoing struggle to avert famine in Yemen, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has managed to provide food assistance to a record seven million people across the country during the month of August 2017.
The past two and a half years of fighting have devastated Yemen’s infrastructure and undermined livelihoods, forcing more than two-thirds of the population – 17 million people – into hunger with seven million people on the brink of starvation and depending entirely on assistance to meet their most basic food needs.
Despite conflict and other access constraints that challenge WFP’s ability to deliver assistance, WFP in August reached nearly seven million people with monthly food assistance as well as specialized nutrition supplements to treat and prevent malnourishment among women and children. However, due to lack of adequate funding only half of these people received a full ration – the remainder received just 60 percent of the full ration.
WFP is prioritizing its assistance in consultation with its partners to people in areas experiencing near-famine conditions and most at need. WFP is also concentrating its efforts on vulnerable families, for example families where there is no breadwinner, where women or children are already malnourished, or displaced people with no income.
“We are doing everything within our power to help avert famine in Yemen,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Yemen Stephen Anderson. “Provided we receive sufficient funding as well as cooperation from all parties to the conflict to ensure regular access to Yemenis who are most in need, we can consolidate recent gains and continue to save many lives.”
Thanks to contributions from government donors, United Nations funds and private sector donors, WFP has been increasing the number of people it reaches each month. WFP has more than doubled the number of people it covers in Yemen from 3.5 million in January 2017 to seven million in August.
WFP has robust accountability systems in place to ensure effective tracking and monitoring of all food support from the time it arrives to Yemeni ports until it reaches families across the country. Latest monitoring reports suggest that food assistance is making a positive impact on recipients of WFP assistance.
For the coming six months through March 2018, WFP is facing a funding shortfall of US$350 million.
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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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