Despite ‘slight’ improvement in food security in Yemen, hunger haunts millions

“The United Nations and its partners made progress against the worst food insecurity last year, but those gains remain fragile and 17 million people in Yemen are still food insecure,” said David Gressley, UN Resident and Country Humanitarian Coordinator.

According to the latest findings of the new report three UN agencies that are closely monitoring the situation after eight years of intense fighting.

Drivers of Hunger

Yemen remains one of the most food insecure countries in the worldlargely due to the effects of the conflict and economic downturn, according to a report by the UN food agency, FAO, the World Food Program (WFP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The agencies said the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) analysis is forecast from now to the end of this year, indicating that more programmatic investment is needed as modest improvements could be wiped out.

Their report showed that Yemenis continue to demand attention, starved to pursue millions. Agencies have warned that the situation could worsen if nothing is done to address the root causes of food insecurity.

A new report showed that between January and May 2023, about 3.2 million people experienced severe food insecurity in government-controlled areas, a 23 percent decrease from the period between October and December 2022.

The report estimates that between June and December 2023, the number of people at risk of experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity could rise to 3.9 million, of which 2.8 million people projected to achieve crisis levels of hunger.

Rescue Interventions

FAO Yemeni spokesman Hussein Gadayn said the agency, through various interventions, is focusing on improving household food security and income by improving agricultural production methods, expanding employment opportunities and diversifying livelihoods in a sustainable manner that promotes peaceful coexistence.

Behind these IPC statistics are women, men and children whose lives are on the thin line between hope and total devastation. — Richard Ragan, WFP Country Director

We work directly with local farmers so that they can support their livelihood,” he said. “We are making sure small farmers in Yemen can weather any shocks that affect food security.”

UNICEF and partners achieved approximately 420,000 children suffering from severe and acute malnutrition with life-saving measures in 2022, the agency’s spokesman in Yemen, Peter Hawkins, said.

“This is the highest ever achieved in Yemen thanks to the expansion of food services,” he said, adding that despite this, malnutrition remains critical in many parts of the southern provinces.

“A multisectoral approach to addressing all forms of malnutrition is essential, and UNICEF is working with partners to strengthen primary health care delivery, including early detection and management of severe acute malnutrition,” he said.

Hunger Prevention

The help of the UN food agency is critical to ensure a firmer ground for the people, for prevention of crisis and famine, said WFP Country Director Richard Ragan. Food insecurity in Yemen remains fragile, he said, and hard-won gains over the past 12 months will be lost without sustained and urgent support.

Behind these IPC statistics are women, men and children.whose lives teeter on the fine line between hope and total devastation,” he said, urging donors to renew their commitment to supporting the most vulnerable Yemenis. “We just can’t take our foot off the gas now“.

Learn more about what the UN is doing to help the people of Yemen Here.

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