WFP pledges $207 million for food assistance to Yemen in 2012 

Published on 28 June 2012 in News
Amira Nasser (author)

Amira Nasser


SANA’A — The U.N. World Food Program (WFP) began distributing food rations to the most malnourished Yemeni governorates this past Saturday.

The WFP identified eight governorates as the most food insecure areas in Yemen. The governorates include Hajja, Mahwit, Amran, Al-Baida, Ibb, Taiz, Al-Dall’e and Raima, according to Hamood Al-Ahazm, public manager of the School Feeding Project, Sana’a.

"Hodeida, Dhamar and Lahj are possible to be added to the list of most food-insecure areas" he said.

Around 101 people from the WFP and 106 people from the School Feeding Project, which is run by the Education Ministry, have been deployed to the eight governorates to distribute the rations.

The rations include wheat, flour, cooking oil and vegetables, according to the WFP.

Ration distribution is delivered to the schools in the selected areas, which have been surveyed before a month and half, Al- Al-Ahazm said.

U.N. Special Envoy to Yemen Jamal Binomar said in his report to the U.N. Security Council in May that Yemen is in urgent need for humanitarian assistance, and so far only 43 percent of the $455 million has been donated to Yemen.

Yemen today is witnessing a crisis of hunger involving almost ten million Yemenis, or half of the population. The WFP estimates 267,000 children under five are at risk of dying from malnutrition.

In the past two years, the number of people facing hunger in Yemen has nearly doubled, and about 22 percent of the population is suffering from severe food shortages.

Various organizations such as WFP, Islamic Relief and their Yemeni partners including the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, have attempted to decrease the effects of this crisis by providing emergency food aid to desperate Yemenis.

The WFP launched its program in Yemen to tackle the season of hunger , which begins in May and continues until October. Its overall assistance in 2012 will consist of some 200,000 metric tons of food commodities, valued at $207 million.

The WFP program aims to target 1.8 million severely food-insecure people living in the poorest 14 governorates in Yemen who are particularly hard hit by rising food prices. In rural areas, the WFP has implemented a ‘pilot cash transfer scheme’ whereby some 10,000 households will receive the cash equivalents of food rations.

In 2012, WFP faces an immediate shortfall of $165 million, including $97 million for its emergency operations, $62 million for its protracted relief and recovery operations national safety net and refugee operations and $5 million for its development programs.

“Should these shortfalls persist, WFP’s ability to reach its targeted 3.5 million beneficiaries could be severely hampered,” the WFP said on its website.