Despite ‘slightly’ improved food security in Yemen, hunger haunts millions of people
“The United Nations and its partners made progress in reducing the worst food insecurity last year, but these gains remain fragile, and 17 million people are still food insecure in Yemen,” said David Gressly, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator for the country.
Compared to the same period in 2022, the number of acutely malnourished people increased in 2023, indicating that more money is needed to prevent extreme hunger, according to the latest findings of a new report from three UN agencies closely monitoring the situation. after eight years of intense warfare.
Drivers of hunger
Yemen remains one of the most food insecure countries in the worldmainly driven by the impact of conflict and economic decline, according to the report from the UN Food Agency, FAO, the World Food Program (WFP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The analysis of the integrated phase classification (IPC) provides an outlook for the period between now and the end of this year, indicating that more program investment is needed as the modest improvements may be eroded, the agencies said.
Their report found that the people in Yemen continue to need attention, with hunger haunting millions. The agencies warned that the situation could worsen if nothing is done to address the main causes of food insecurity.
The new report showed that between January and May 2023, about 3.2 million people experienced high levels of acute food insecurity in government-controlled areas, representing a 23 percent reduction from the period between October and December 2022.
From June to December 2023, the report estimated that the number of people likely to experience high levels of acute food insecurity could increase to 3.9 million, of which 2.8 million people are expected to achieve crisis levels of hunger.
Yemen’s FAO representative Hussein Gadain said that through various interventions the agency is targeting improving household food security and income by strengthening agricultural production practices, increasing employment opportunities and diversifying livelihoods in a sustainable manner that promotes peaceful coexistence.
There are women, men and children behind these IPC statistics whose lives straddle the fine line between hope and utter devastation. – Richard Ragan, WFP Country Director
We are work directly with farmers in the field to enable them to make a living,” he said. “We are ensuring that small farmers in Yemen can withstand shocks that affect food security.”
UNICEF and partners reached around 420,000 children suffer from severe and acute malnutrition with life-saving interventions in 2022, said the agency’s Yemeni representative, Peter Hawkins.
“This is the highest ever reached in Yemen, thanks to the scaling up of food services,” he said, adding that despite this, malnutrition levels remain critical in many areas of the southern governorates.
“A multi-sectoral approach to addressing all forms of malnutrition is essential and, together with partners, UNICEF is strengthening the delivery of primary health care, including early detection and treatment of severe acute malnutrition,” he said.
The help of the UN Food Agency is crucial to get people on solid ground crisis and faminesaid WFP Country Director, Richard Ragan. The food insecurity situation in Yemen remains fragile and the hard-won gains of the past 12 months will be lost without continued and urgent support, he said.
“Behind these IPC statistics are women, men and children, whose lives straddle the fine line between hope and utter devastation,” he said, urging donors to renew their commitment to support the most vulnerable Yemenis. “We simply can’t take our foot off the gas now.”
Read more about what the UN is doing to help the people of Yemen here.