| 22 April 2024, Monday |

WFP cuts food rations in Yemen

The World Food Program announced it had to cut the food rations of more than 10 million Yemenis by 35 percent due to a lack of funding, and warned that it might have to take additional steps in the absence of direct grants.

In its Yemen Food Security Update released early this week, the Program said that during January-May 2023, the overall food imports saw a decrease by 28 percent through Red Sea ports and by 11 percent via the southern ports of Aden and Mukalla compared to same period in 2022.

By May 31, eight vessels carrying wheat for WFP had arrived in Yemen from Ukraine since the initiative started in July 2022, the Program noted.

It said essential food items were reportedly available across the Yemeni markets, however close monitoring is necessary for the upcoming months in light of the low levels of food imports.

Currently, WFP is targeting 13 million people each distribution cycle with reduced rations equivalent to 65 percent of the standard food basket.

Due to the ongoing critical shortages in funding, WFP was compelled to shift more than 900,000 beneficiaries from cash-based to in-kind food assistance starting the fourth distribution cycle.

According to the WFP update, the prevalence of inadequate food consumption bounced back to pre-Ramadan levels, increasing from 36 percent in April to 45 percent in May.

Northern and southern areas remained at worrying levels of food insecurity during May, yet households in the south were slightly worse off.

Around 48 percent of the surveyed households in government-controlled areas could not meet their minimum food needs compared to 44 percent in areas under Houthi authorities.

Meanwhile, it said the cost of the minimum food basket (MFB) remained almost unchanged in Yemen compared to the previous month. Year-on-year, the cost of MFB slightly increased by two percent in government-controlled areas while it significantly decreased in areas under the militia authorities (by 18 percent).

At the energy level, the update said the steady flow of fuel into Yemen has been maintained since the activation of the truce in April 2022.

“During January-May 2023, the total volume of imported fuel through Red Sea ports was nearly double the level of imports during the same period last year,” it said.

Also, there are 10.4 million people assisted by WFP in Yemen in May, 17 million people food insecure, 6.1 million people in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency) and 3.5 million people acutely malnourished.

The fifth Yemen Situation Report for this year showed a partial IPC food security analysis covering 118 districts (of the 333 districts total) controlled by the internationally recognized government of Yemen.

“For the January-May 2023 period, the analysis shows a slight improvement in the food security situation in IRGcontrolled areas as compared to 2022, with 3.5 million people in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) and above,” it said.

However, the analysis projects a deterioration for the June-December 2023 period, with the number of people in IPC Phase 3+ increasing by 20 percent, to 3.9 million.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat