Aiming to feed 12 million of the most vulnerable people each month, WFP’s emergency response in Yemen is our largest anywhere in the world.
The current level of hunger in Yemen is unprecedented and is causing severe hardship for millions of people. Despite ongoing humanitarian assistance, 15.9 million people wake up hungry every day. It is estimated that, in the absence of food assistance, this number would go up to 20 million.
The rate of child malnutrition is one of the highest in the world and the nutrition situation continues to deteriorate. A recent survey showed that almost one third of families have gaps in their diets, and hardly ever consume foods like pulses, vegetables, fruit, dairy products or meat. Some 2.6 million pregnant and nursing women and children under 5 need support to prevent or cure malnutrition. In 2019, WFP is gradually expanding its assistance to reach all of them with special nutrition support.
More than half of all families are buying food on credit, up by almost 50 percent compared to pre-crisis levels. Salary payments for public sector employees have been suspended since September 2016, affecting nearly 30 percent of the Yemeni population who depend on government salaries and pensions.
The humanitarian situation in Yemen is extremely fragile and any disruption in the pipeline of critical supplies such as food, fuel and medicines has the potential to bring millions of people closer to starvation and death. WFP calls for unimpeded access to reach those most in need and avert famine.
What the World Food Programme is doing to respond to the Yemen emergency
Food assistanceIn 2019, WFP is scaling up to provide 12 million people with monthly food assistance through direct food distributions or vouchers that people can use at retailers in areas where the markets are functioning. Each family of six gets a monthly ration of wheat flour, pulses, vegetable oil, sugar and salt.
Cash assistanceWFP plans to gradually increase its cash assistance to 1 million people in 2019. To support this programme WFP is registering beneficiaries on a new biometric platform. Through this system, people will receive cash transfers equivalent to US$12 per person per month, which will inject much-needed liquidity into the economy.
Nutrition assistanceIn response to high acute, moderate and severe malnutrition rates among children, WFP is providing nutritional support to 1.5 million pregnant and nursing women and children under 5 and will gradually scale up to reach nearly 3 million by the end of 2019.
School feedingSince January 2019, WFP has been providing nutritious snacks 665,000 students across Yemen, with plans to expand to 900,000 students upon the start of the new school year in September 2019.
Assistance to refugeesWFP is currently providing food assistance to 8,500 refugees from the Horn of Africa in Kharaz camp in Lahj governorate.
LogisticsThe WFP-managed UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) continues to transport humanitarian aid workers between Sana’a, Djibouti and Amman. In addition, the Logistics Cluster facilitates a weekly sea transport shuttle for humanitarian workers between Aden and Djibouti.
WFP is providing food assistance for those most urgently in need of support in what has emerged as one of the world’s worst hunger crises. In 2019, WFP aims to provide 12 million people with food and nutrition assistance with 100% rations across Yemen.
WFP’s average monthly requirements in 2019 are set to increase to around US$176 million a month as we scale up our operations in Yemen. WFP is facing an unmet need of US$1.5 billion for all of 2019.