WASHINGTON – I am deeply heartened by the announcement from Qatar that it will contribute $100 million to humanitarian operations in Yemen, where conflict, COVID and economic decline are driving a grinding hunger crisis which is in danger of slipping into famine without adequate funding. This contribution reinforces the opportunity for regional peace and security.

Qatar’s support, part of which will go to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), is critical for staving off famine in Yemen and will save millions of lives. I am very encouraged by this latest development in Qatar’s partnership with the U.N. World Food Programme and my sincere thanks go to the government and people of Qatar for this much-needed expression of solidarity.

Right now, two-thirds of Yemen’s population – some 20 million people – need humanitarian assistance with five million at immediate risk of famine. Acute malnutrition is eating away the futures of 2.3 million children and 400,000 are at risk of dying if left without treatment

The international community must not wait for a famine classification in Yemen to act, as Qatar is doing now joining other donors who have generously stepped up to support the U.N. World Food Programme’s operation in the war-torn country. People do not start dying when a declaration of famine is made. It is their deaths that trigger a declaration.

The U.N. World Food Programme supports 12.9 million in Yemen with emergency food assistance and provides special foods to treat and prevent malnutrition to 3.3 million children and mothers. To prevent famine in Yemen, the U.N. World Food Programme needs at least $1.9 billion in 2021. Not including Qatar, donors have stepped up with just over $1 billion so far this year.

#                 #                   #

The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA and @wfp_media

SANA’A – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is increasing the level of food assistance in Yemen’s worst hunger hotspots in an effort to prevent a devastating famine. But the agency’s ability to sustain the response to the end of the year remains uncertain.

“The continued fragility in Yemen, compounded by the persistent driving factors of food insecurity has left Yemen acutely vulnerable to worsening levels of hunger – and famine conditions,” said Laurent Bukera, U.N. World Food Programme Country Director for Yemen. “Escalating conflict, economic decline, rising global commodity prices and COVID-19 have all contributed to an alarming increase in acute hunger over the last year.”

Nearly 50,000 people in Yemen are already living in famine-like conditions and 5 million people are in immediate danger. A child dies every 10 minutes of preventable diseases such as diarrhea, malnutrition and respiratory tract infections.

Responding to these acute needs, the U.N. World Food Programme resumed monthly distributions to 350,000 people in 11 districts facing famine-like conditions (IPC5) in February.

In April and May this year, after new funds were confirmed, the U.N. World Food Programme began increasing assistance to nearly 6 million people in the nine governorates with the highest rates of ‘emergency’ food insecurity (IPC4): Hajjah, Al Jawf, Amran, Al Hodeidah, Raymah, Al Mahwit, Sa’ada, Dhamar and Taiz. From June, these people will again receive the full ration every month.

The U.N. World Food Programme supports a total of 12.9 million people with food assistance in Yemen, prioritizing areas with the highest rates of food insecurity and providing rapid support to families displaced by conflict, such as in the Marib governorate. But in April 2020, in a challenging operating environment and facing reduced funding, the U.N. World Food Programme was forced to stop providing assistance every month, and instead provide it every two months, in the northern areas of Yemen.

This year, donors have so far stepped up with nearly $947 million for the U.N. World Food Programme’s famine prevention effort in Yemen, including large-scale support from the US, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Germany and European Union. The U.N. World Food Programme’s food security monitoring, which tracks food consumption, dietary diversity and food-related coping strategies, will soon show the impact of the gradual scale up of assistance, as seen following the significant increase of assistance in 2019 when famine last threatened.

“We will start seeing the impact in the coming months, but initial gains will be fragile,” warned Bukera. “The U.N. World Food Programme’s ability to maintain this level of response until the end of the year hangs in the balance. Sustained, predictable and flexible funding is required immediately, otherwise we will see any progress undone and needs rapidly rise in what is an unpredictable and challenging operational environment.”

Hunger has increased in Yemen as the conflict has escalated, displacing families for the third or even fourth time as the war grinds into its seventh year. Rising food prices – up to 200 percent above pre-war levels – have made food unaffordable for millions. On top of this, a deadly second wave of COVID-19 is sweeping across Yemen and the healthcare system is unable to cope.

As the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2417 – passed three years ago this month – makes clear, the corrosive cycle of hunger and conflict means that peace will be the only lasting solution to Yemen’s hunger crisis. Until that day, humanitarian assistance is vital and the consequences of another funding shortfall would be devastating for Yemenis.

Note to editors:

  • 50,000 people in Yemen are facing famine-like conditions (IPC 5) with 5 million a step away from famine (IPC 4) – and will fall into famine if conditions worsen. A further 11 million people are facing crisis levels of food insecurity (IPC 3).
  • Around half of all children under five in Yemen – 2.3 million children – are projected to face acute malnutrition in 2021. Nearly 400,000 are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition and could die if they do not receive urgent treatment.
  • The U.N. World Food Programme supports nearly 13 million people with emergency food assistance, providing rations of flour, lentils, vegetable oil, sugar and salt, or vouchers or cash to purchase the same quantity of food.
  • The U.N. World Food Programme supports 3.3 million children and mothers with nutrition supplements to treat and prevent malnutrition. 1.55 million school children also get daily nutritious snacks in school.
  • To prevent famine in Yemen, the U.N. World Food Programme needs at least $1.9 billion in 2021.

#                     #                          #

The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA, @wfp_media and @WFPYemen

NEW YORK – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director, David Beasley, addressed the United Nations Security Council today on Yemen, conflict and food insecurity. Here are selected highlights from his remarks.

On Yemen:

“Just two days ago, I was in Yemen, where over 16 million people now face crisis levels of hunger or worse. These aren’t just numbers. These are real people. And we are headed straight toward the biggest famine in modern history. It is hell on earth in many places in Yemen right now.”

“Around 400,000 children may die in Yemen this year without urgent intervention. That is roughly one child every 75 seconds. So, while we’re sitting here, every minute and a quarter, a child is dying. Are we really going to turn our backs on them and look the other way?”

“To add to all their misery, the innocent people of Yemen have to deal with a fuel blockade. For example, most hospitals only have electricity in their intensive care units because fuel reserves are so low. I know this firsthand because I’ve walked in the hospital. And the lights were off. The electricity was off. The people of Yemen deserve our help. That blockade must be lifted, as a humanitarian act. Otherwise, millions more will spiral into crisis.”

On conflict and hunger:

“Man made conflict is driving instability and powering a destructive new wave of famine that threatens to sweep across the world. The toll being paid in human misery is unimaginable. So I want to thank the Secretary-General for his leadership in trying to avert these famines.”

“These looming famines have two things in common: they are primarily driven by conflict, and they are entirely preventable … The cycle of violence, hunger and despair pulls in more and more individuals and families as the weeks and months pass. But the potential consequences are truly global: economic deterioration, destabilization, mass migration and starvation.”

“Beyond the immediate crisis, we also need to invest in peace, so that in the future, desperate families are not forced to the brink of survival by the bullet and the bomb. The costs of this violence are immense: just in 2019 $14.5 trillion dollars a year – 15% of global GDP. It would take a fraction of this money to fund the development programs that could transform the lives of people in fragile, conflict-scarred nations – and help lay new pathways to peace.”

Resources:
Full transcript
Photos
Video footage from Yemen

#                              #                             #

The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA @wfp_media

ADEN/SANA’A – The Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) issued an urgent plea for peace in Yemen and called for funding to help the most vulnerable hungry families as he wrapped up a two-day visit to the country where the worst famine the world has seen in modern history is now looming.

“Over half of the people in Yemen are facing acute food shortages with millions knocking on the door of famine. These are not just numbers. They are real people and it is heartbreaking,” said David Beasley. “Famine-like conditions are emerging across Yemen and the answer is simple. We have a vaccine for this. It is called food. All we need to save lives is funding.”

In Sana’a, Beasley visited a hospital and witnessed firsthand the devastating toll that malnutrition is having on Yemen’s children. Half of all children under five in Yemen – 2.3 million – are projected to face acute malnutrition this year, with nearly 400,000 suffering from severe acute malnutrition and likely to die if they do not get urgent treatment.

“In the children’s wing of any hospital in the world, you usually hear crying or laughter but in these hospitals in Yemen, there is dead silence as the children are too sick and too weak to either cry or laugh. But they are still the lucky ones who were able to make it to the hospital,” Beasley added.  “Many poor families cannot afford the cost of transportation to bring their children to hospitals or they arrive and are turned away because there are not enough beds for their sick children.”

The U.N. World Food Programme chief also met two-year-old Sultan, a little boy treated by the U.N. World Food Programme for malnutrition, who came for a check-up.

“Meeting Sultan shows me what the U.N. World Food Programme can do. We can make a difference here, but we need the funds to do it – and these children need to be given a chance to grow up in a country at peace,” said Beasley.

Beasley also saw the progress of the U.N. World Food Programme’s biometric registration program, making sure food assistance is delivered in an accountable and transparent way.

Right now, humanitarian food assistance is the first line defence against spiralling hunger in Yemen, where over 16 million people are food insecure. Nearly 50,000 people are already facing famine-like conditions (IPC 5) and a further five million people are only one step away (IPC 4).

The U.N. World Food Programme is looking at all options to scale up assistance to meet the growing needs and avert a devastating famine. The U.N. World Food Programme is already prioritizing monthly assistance to 11 districts with populations in famine-like conditions in a bid to save lives and prevent further decline. But more needs to be done for millions who are at risk of slipping further into hunger as conflict and displacement, crippling fuel shortages and rising food prices makes life harder each day.

14 vessels carrying fuel are currently being held off Yemen’s Red Sea coast unable to berth. None have entered Al Hodeidah port since  January 3, 2021. With fuel reserves nearing empty, hospitals have been left without power and the commercial sector struggling to transport food and basic goods. This is forcing people to turn to the black market where prices are up to three times higher than the official rate, all contributing to food prices that are climbing well out of reach for millions.

“This is hell. Absolutely horrendous. Yemen is becoming the worst place on earth and it is totally man made,” said Beasley.

As the world marked International Woman’s Day on March 8, the U.N. World Food Programme chief visited a U.N. World Food Programme-run kitchen in the southern city of Aden which employs local women – many of them displaced by conflict, others their families’ sole breadwinner – to make packed lunches for schoolchildren. He then visited a school to distribute the lunches to children.

“When we empower women and girls, we take a step towards zero hunger,” said Beasley. “But we need Yemen’s war to end so these brave and ambitious girls can grow up to be the doctors, pilots and teachers they want to be.”

The U.N. World Food Programme’s operation remains critically underfunded and the agency’s ability to maintain this level of response hangs in the balance. Only with predictable and sustained funding can the U.N. World Food Programme define a realistic implementation plan that meets the needs of the most vulnerable – and avert a devastating famine. The U.N. World Food Programme needs $1.9 billion to save lives and provide food assistance in 2021.

“Food assistance saves lives,” said Beasley. “But it does not solve the problems that caused Yemen’s crisis, nor the underlying drivers of food insecurity. Only with a lasting solution will it be possible to reinvigorate the economy, stabilise the currency, ensure the free flow of basic goods and fuel through Yemen’s ports and start paying public salaries, allowing people to have the money required to buy food and rebuild their lives.”

#                     #                          #

David Beasley is among the top UN officials who will address a UN Security Council session on Yemen starting at 10am EST on 11 March. The event will be webcast: webtv.un.org

The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA and @wfp_media

ROME – The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), a critical lifeline transporting humanitarian workers and lifesaving cargo to some of the most challenging and hard-to-reach locations, urgently requires $204 million to continue existing operations beyond February 2021.

Disruptions in UNHAS operations have the potential to impact major humanitarian operations including those in Yemen, the Syrian Arab Republic and Haiti, where conditions continue to worsen due to ongoing conflict and the impact of COVID-19.

“UNHAS is, in most cases, the only way that humanitarian organizations can reach people in need, particularly in countries with ongoing conflict and where access by road or sea is not feasible,” says Amir Abdulla, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme, which manages the service. “The disruption of UNHAS operations would cripple the ability of the entire humanitarian community to reach some of the most in need people on the planet.”

UNHAS has not only ensured humanitarian workers and cargo were able to safely reach people in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, but has also played an important role in national responses to the pandemic, transporting test samples and critical medical supplies on behalf of governments in many of the countries in which the service operates.

UNHAS, was established in 2004 to serve the humanitarian community where safe and reliable commercial air transport is not available. The service currently runs 21 operations and carries up to 400,000 passengers every year to over 400 destinations via a fleet of aircraft and helicopters. UNHAS, on top of regular passenger and light cargo transport, also performs crucial medical and security evacuations.

#                     #                          #

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA @wfp_media and @wfp_logistics

For more information please contact:

Eleonora Ponti, WFP/Rome, Tel.+39 342 993 2998, eleonora.ponti@wfp.org
Alicia Stafford, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 342 771 9577, alicia.stafford@wfp.org

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK, 12 February 2021 – Nearly 2.3 million children under the age of five in Yemen are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021, four United Nations agencies warned today. Of these, 400,000 are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition and could die if they do not receive urgent treatment.

The new figures, from the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Acute Malnutrition report released today by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), UNICEF, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners, mark an increase of 16 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively, from 2020.

The agencies also warned that these were among the highest levels of severe acute malnutrition recorded in Yemen since the escalation of conflict in 2015.

Malnutrition damages a child’s physical and cognitive development, especially during the first two years of a child’s life. It is largely irreversible, perpetuating illness, poverty and inequality.

Preventing malnutrition and addressing its devastating impact starts with good maternal health, yet around 1.2 million pregnant or breastfeeding women in Yemen are projected to be acutely malnourished in 2021.

Years of armed conflict and economic decline, the COVID-19 pandemic and a severe funding shortfall for the humanitarian response are pushing exhausted communities to the brink, with rising levels of food insecurity. Many families are having to resort to reducing the quantity or quality of the food they eat, and in some cases, families are forced to do both.

“The increasing number of children going hungry in Yemen should shock us all into action,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “More children will die with every day that passes without action. Humanitarian organizations need urgent predictable resources and unhindered access to communities on the ground to be able to save lives.”

“Families in Yemen have been in the grip of conflict for too long, and more recent threats such as COVID-19 have only been adding to their relentless plight,” said FAO Director- General QU Dongyu. “Without security and stability across the country, and improved access to farmers so that they are provided with the means to resume growing enough and nutritious food, Yemen’s children and their families will continue to slip deeper into hunger and malnutrition.”

“These numbers are yet another cry for help from Yemen where each malnourished child also means a family struggling to survive” said U.N. World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley. “The crisis in Yemen is a toxic mix of conflict, economic collapse and a severe shortage of funding to provide the life-saving help that’s desperately needed. But there is a solution to hunger, and that’s food and an end to the violence. If we act now, then there is still time to end the suffering of Yemen’s children.”

Diseases and a poor health environment are key drivers of childhood malnutrition,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “At the same time, malnourished children are more vulnerable to diseases including diarrhea, respiratory infections and malaria, which are of great concern in Yemen, among others. It is a vicious and often deadly cycle, but with relatively cheap and simple interventions, many lives can be saved.”

Acute malnutrition among young children and mothers in Yemen has increased with each year of conflict with a significant deterioration during 2020 driven by high rates of disease, such as diarrhea, respiratory tract infections and cholera, and rising rates of food insecurity. Among the worst hit regions are Aden, Al Dhale, Hajjah, Hodeida, Lahj, Taiz and Sana’a City, which account for over half of expected acute malnutrition cases in 2021.

Today, Yemen is one of the most dangerous places in the world for children to grow up. The country has high rates of communicable diseases, limited access to routine immunization and health services for children and families, poor infant and young child feeding practices, and inadequate sanitation and hygiene systems.

Meanwhile, the already fragile health care system is facing the collateral impact of COVID-19, which has drained meagre resources and resulted in fewer people seeking medical care. The dire situation for Yemen’s youngest children and mothers means any disruptions to humanitarian services – from health to water, sanitation and hygiene, to nutrition, food assistance and livelihoods support – risk causing a deterioration in their nutrition status. The humanitarian response remains critically underfunded. In 2020, the Humanitarian. Response plan received $1.9 billion of the $3.4 billion required.

#   #   #

Notes for editors:
Full IPC Report available here. | Analysis here.
Multimedia materials available here.

About WFP  | The U.N. World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

About FAO | The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Our goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. With over 194 members, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide.

About UNICEF | UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

About WHO | The World Health Organization provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. Founded in 1948, WHO works with 194 Member States, across six regions and from more than 150 offices, to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. Our goal for 2019-2023 is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and wellbeing.

For more information, please contact;

  • Bismarck Swangin, UNICEF Yemen; Email: bswangin@unicef.org; Tel: +967 712223161
  • Annabel Symington, WFP Yemen; Email: Annabel.symington@wfp.org; Tel: +44 7746397099
  • Adel Sarkozi, FAO Media Relations, adel.sarkozi@fao.org, (+39) 06 570 52537
  • Ahmed Ben Lassoued, WHO Yemen, benlassoueda@who.int; Tel: +216 20 444 998

NEW YORK – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director, David Beasley, addressed the United Nations Security Council today on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Here are selected highlights from his remarks:

“We’re facing famine in Yemen…there are 16 million innocent victims of this unnecessary man-made war struggling to get food every single day. Eleven million are in IPC level 3, which means they’re at a crisis level. 5 million are at emergency level and 50,000 are in famine-like conditions.”

“We’re running out of money as we speak…we need about $860 million just to avert famine. And that’s for six months. We don’t even have half that. That means we’re going to have to cut the rations, which we now have, which affects 9 million people that we are feeding.”

“We’re struggling now to feed 13 million people. And if we’re struggling with 13 million people, and we don’t have the money, and the access and the tools that we need, then what do you think’s going to happen? Well I can give you a pretty clear picture: We anticipate 80 percent of the population of Yemen to immediately start moving into classification 3, 4 and 5. How are they going to get food? How are they going to get fuel? How are they going to get medicine?”

“It is going to be a catastrophe…we’re going to have a catastrophe on our hands.”

For photos, click here.

#                               #                          #

The U.N. World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change. | Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA and @wfp_media

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

  • Shaza Moghraby, WFP/New York, Mob. + 1 929 289 9867
  • Steve Taravella, WFP/ Washington, Mob.  +1 202 770 5993
It looks like you're outside of the United States.

Are you alright with going to the

Continue Continue

Follow us on Twitter for the latest news on Ukraine.

Follow @wfpusa