The lack of immediate and unhindered access to people who urgently need food assistance – compounded by a shortage of funding – means that millions of people are in Yemen are on the brink of famine.
Almost 18.8 million people in Yemen are in need of humanitarian assistance. This includes more than 7 million people that are food insecure; that is one in five of the country’s population. The rate of child malnutrition is one of the highest in the world.
The nutrition situation continues to deteriorate - and an estimated 3 million women and children need nutrition support. According to WFP market analysis, prices of food items spiked in September 2016 as a result of the escalation of the conflict. The national average price of wheat flour was found to be 55 percent higher compared to the pre-crisis period.
Humanitarian organizations need to be able to move freely and safely in order to reach all those in urgent need before they fall deeper into crisis.
WFP requires nearly US$950 million in 2017 to provide much-needed food assistance and carry out nutrition interventions in Yemen. It takes four months from the time WFP receives funds until food reaches the country and into the hands of families in need.
What the World Food Programme is doing to respond to the Yemen emergency
In 2016, WFP reached a total 6 million people in 19 governorates with emergency food assistance. Nine of those governorates are in the grip of severe food insecurity at ‘Emergency’ level – one step below famine on the five-point Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) scale. WFP plans to expand assistance to 7 million people in 2017.
Three WFP-chartered vessels arrived in Yemen’s port of Aden in July 2016 with life-saving food supplies for the most vulnerable and internally displaced people. These vessels marked the first shipload of humanitarian supplies to reach Aden since conflict erupted in Yemen in March.
UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS)
Many road networks in the hardest hit areas of the country are still not open, making communities in conflict-areas inaccessible for humanitarian workers. The WFP-managed UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) operates three flights a week between Djibouti and Sana’a for humanitarian workers.