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Yemen: Food Assistance Fact Sheet - March 15, 2019

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Since 2015, conflict in Yemen has devastated civil infrastructure, displaced millions of people and prompted an economic crisis, causing widespread and life threatening food insecurity.


• Due to conflict and economic crisis, Yemen is the largest food security emergency in the world. Nearly 16 million people—approximately 53 percent of Yemen’s population—face Crisis (IPC 3) or worse conditions countrywide, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC).* An end to the conflict is the only solution to the root issues driving food insecurity in Yemen, according to international relief actors.

• In December 2018, the IPC identified more than 63,000 people in eight governorates experiencing Catastrophe (IPC 5) conditions and at risk of death from starvation. Food insecurity is most severe in areas with active fighting, and internally displaced persons, host families, marginalized groups and landless wage laborers with limited access to work and services are among the most vulnerable populations.

• While ongoing humanitarian assistance prevents millions more people from experiencing worse levels of food insecurity, famine remains a credible threat in Yemen in 2019. According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), the risk of famine would be particularly high if operations at the country’s critical ports are disrupted for a prolonged period. Additionally, FEWS NET predicts macroeconomic conditions will continue to deteriorate through May 2019, limiting household access to food.


• USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) funding enables UN agency and non-governmental organization (NGO) implementing partners to provide emergency food assistance, including U.S.-sourced wheat, beans and vegetable oil—as well as food vouchers to access food through local vendors—for Yemen’s most vulnerable populations.

• FFP support also provides ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the treatment of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Yemen. Additionally, FFP supports the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as the lead coordinating body for the cluster of international organizations responding to food insecurity in Yemen.

• FFP contributions in Fiscal Year 2019 to date include nearly $119 million to the UN World Food Program (WFP). WFP aims to reach approximately 10 million of Yemen’s most severely food-insecure individuals monthly with in-kind food assistance and food vouchers. In response to increasing needs, WFP is scaling up operations in 2019 to reach Yemen’s most food-insecure populations countrywide.