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WFP welcomes deal to resume food aid for most vulnerable Yemenis

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ROME – The United Nations World Food Programme welcomes important, positive steps taken by the Sana’a-based authorities on safeguards to ensure humanitarian food assistance reaches the most vulnerable children, women and men in areas of Yemen under their control.

A document signed with the Sana’a-based authorities on Saturday 3 August 2019 and the subsequently signed technical annexes will allow WFP to work to establish an independent and accountable process to identify and register families who most need life-saving food assistance.

WFP will resume food distributions following the Eid Al Adha festival for the 850,000 people in Sana’a City who have not received food rations from WFP for the last two months.

WFP will now begin the roll-out of a smartcard-driven beneficiary management system, registering 9 million people in areas of Yemen controlled by the Sana’a-based authorities. These vital measures provide for the protection and privacy of the people we serve and the independence of our humanitarian operation.

The signed documents give a framework to ensure that WFP’s largest operation in the world is operating in an efficient and cost-effective way. For that to happen, the Sana’a-based authorities have provided written assurances that WFP will be able to bring in the staff and equipment required for a targeting and registration process. WFP staff and our partners will also be granted unimpeded access to all areas where we need to work. Once the beneficiary selection and biometric registration process is complete, the agreement will also allow WFP to introduce cash transfers to local people so they may purchase food from local shops, where this is available.

WFP continues to work tirelessly to ensure that hungry Yemeni children, women and men get the food assistance they need. Over the past three months, WFP continued to scale up operations as it strived to reach a monthly target across the country of providing life-saving food assistance to 12 million people.

Yemen remains the most complex and challenging humanitarian crisis in the world. Over four years of conflict have pushed millions of Yemenis to the brink of famine. Some indicators have started to improve in a number of hard hit areas as WFP has boosted support for them. The overall situation remains precarious and the humanitarian community cannot slow the pace of assistance now.

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The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):

Annabel Symington, WFP/Yemen, Mob. +967 73988251

Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +20 106 6634352

Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 2321, Mob. +39 346 7600521

Frances Kennedy, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3725, Mob. +39 346 7600 806

Gregory Barrow, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 2150, Mob. +39 342 8079718