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WFP Chief warns UN Security Council of imminent famine in Yemen

Photo: WFP/ Alaa Noman
NEW YORK – The World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director, David Beasley, addressed United Nations Security Council today on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Here are selected highlights from his remarks:

“We’re facing famine in Yemen….there’s 16 million innocent victims of this unnecessary man-made war, struggling to get food every single day. Eleven million are IPC level 3, which means they’re at a crisis level. 5 million are at emergency level and 50,000 are in famine-like conditions.”

“We’re running out of money as we speak… we need about US$ 860 million just to avert famine. And that’s for six months. We don’t even have half that. That means we’re going to have to cut the rations which we now have, which is 9 million people that we are feeding.”

“We’re struggling now to feed 13 million people.  And if we’re struggling with 13 million people, and we don’t have the money, and the access and the tools that we need, then what do you think’s going to happen?  Well I can give you a pretty clear picture: we anticipate 80 percent of the population of Yemen to immediately start moving into classification 3, 4 and 5. How are they going to get food? How are they going to get fuel? How are they going to get medicine?  It is going to be a catastrophe...we're going to have a catastrophe on our hands.”

For photos, click here.


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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are 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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Yemen Conflicts Emergencies Food Security


For more information please contact (email address:

Annabel Symington, WFP/Yemen,
Tel. +44 7746397099

Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo,
Tel. +20 106 6663 4352

Martin Penner, WFP/ Rome,
Mob. +39 345 614 2074

Tomson Phiri, WFP/ Geneva,
Mob. +41 79 842 8057

Jane Howard, WFP/ London,
Tel. +44 (0)20 3857 7413, Mob. +44 (0)796 8008 474

Shaza Moghraby, WFP/New York,
Mob. + 1 929 289 9867

Steve Taravella, WFP/ Washington,
Mob.  +1 202 770 5993