WFP chartered grain vessel arrives in Yemen following extension of Black Sea grain agreement
The vessel, MV Negmar Cicek, sailed from the Ukrainian Black Sea Port of Chornomorsk in Odessa after the renewal of the Black Sea Grain initiative last month. Thanks to funds from the governments of the United States, France, and Spain, this shipment will provide a 50-kg bag of wheat flour to nearly 4 million people for one month and will help WFP address immediate gaps in assistance.
“With funding constraints we face now in Yemen, this shipment could not have come at a more opportune time,” said WFP Country Director and Representative in Yemen Richard Ragan. “Maintaining and increasing the level of funding for Yemen is key to seeing tangible improvements in the lives of millions of Yemenis.”
WFP needs around 85,000 tons of wheat each month in Yemen and counts on continued donor support that has so far kept famine at bay. Last year, thanks to the six-month truce and continued assistance, the number of people living in famine-like conditions fell from 161,000 to zero.
There are still, however, 6.1 million people living in emergency levels of food insecurity in Yemen – one step away from the “Crisis” category of food insecurity – the highest number of any country in the world. Humanitarian assistance remains a lifeline for millions.
“Continued donor support will allow us to eventually transition from humanitarian aid and life-saving assistance to the resilience and development work that should be the focus of attention in Yemen,” Ragan added.
In 2023, WFP requires US$2.9 billion to provide food assistance through cash and direct distribution to a target of 15 million people and support 1.9 million people through school feeding and rural road rehabilitation, water harvesting schemes, and agricultural projects.
WFP is only 17 percent funded in Yemen over the coming six months.
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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.