WFP facing critical funding shortage in Yemen threatening vital food assistance
Under General Food Assistance (GFA), 13.1 million beneficiaries across Yemen are currently receiving rations equivalent to approximately 40 percent of the standard food basket. Without new funding, WFP expects that as many as 3 million people in the North could be impacted and 1.4 million beneficiaries in the South. WFP has resources to cover 6.6 million in the North and 2.2 million in the South. Yemen will remain one of WFP’s largest food assistance operations, but these cuts represent a significant reduction to the agency’s programs in the country.
WFP has had to make cuts to malnutrition prevention activities in Yemen which previously targeted 1.4 million people. Because of these resource constraints, WFP is only able to assist 128,000 (96,000 in the North and 32,000 in the South) of the 2.4 million children and pregnant and breastfeeding women and girls originally targeted. While the life-saving Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) treatment program remains operational, WFP has already had to cut 60% of the planned program, with 526,000 individuals receiving assistance in the North and 145,300 in the South out of a planned total of 1.9 million for the year. The funding shortages are happening at a time of more people becoming severely malnourished.
After the summer break, the 2023-2024 school year commenced in late July for regions under the de facto Houthi Authorities, while schools in the Internationally Recognized Government areas are scheduled to begin in late August. However, due to funding constraints, WFP expects to be able to provide assistance to only 1.8 million children as part of its School Feeding program for this academic year, a reduction from the initially intended target of 3.2 million children.
WFP Yemen has significantly scaled down the scope and scale of its Resilience and Livelihoods activity due to a lack of funding. This year, WFP has so far only been able to assist 319,000 people of the 2 million people planned this year. Cash payments have been delayed significantly in the South and some beneficiaries are being transitioned to receive food rations in lieu of cash.
"We are confronted with the incredibly tough reality of making decisions to take food from the hungry to feed the starving while millions of Yemenis continue to rely on us for survival. We do not take this decision lightly and are fully cognizant of the suffering these cuts will cause” said Richard Ragan, WFP’s Yemen Representative.
To ensure that the most needy and vulnerable families receive our assistance, WFP will pilot a retargeting and registration plan in the North beginning in September, with a full rollout in October. Targeting and registration is underway in the South at present.
WFP's operations are entirely dependent on voluntary contributions. For the next six months, WFP requires a total of US$1.05 billion in funding. So far, only 28 percent of these funds have been secured.
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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.
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