Tag Archives: WFP

UN agencies boost partnership on visualization of food security data for Yemen

WFP trucks loaded with wheat grain, oil and salt are ready to leave for Amran, a hundred kilometres north of Yemen’s capital, Sana'a. Photo: OCHA/Charlotte Cans

WFP trucks loaded with wheat grain, oil and salt are ready to leave for Amran, a hundred kilometres north of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. Photo: OCHA/Charlotte Cans

4 May 2016

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) are boosting wider understanding of how families in conflict-torn Yemen struggle with persistent food insecurity, through a new interactive visualization of data captured by mobile technology and shared on an open source platform.

“This is an important step towards greater transparency by making crucial food security data freely available in open source. In the case of Yemen, where the humanitarian situation is rapidly deteriorating due to continued conflict it is paramount that the data we capture is available to as wide an audience as possible, to inform key decisions,” said WFP Chief Economist Arif Husain in a press release.

Collected by WFP’s mobile food security monitoring service (mVAM), the data track a household’s food consumption. The visualization shows how families are coping in the face of hunger and food shortages as the months pass.

It can be observed in the visualization that as of March 2016, about 70 per cent of families in each governorate in Yemen are borrowing food or relying on the help of friends and relatives to cope with food insecurity. This proportion is more significant in governorates affected by conflict.

WFP and OCHA plan to extend the visualization to show data from other countries.

The data are available on OCHA’s Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX), an open platform for sharing crisis data. The platform includes some 4,000 data sets from humanitarian partners, allowing a range of users – from journalists to policy makers and data scientists – to explore the data and gain insight.

“The food security data that WFP shares through HDX is critical to understanding the severity of humanitarian crises around the world,” said Sarah Telford, Head of HDX. “WFP has become a leader in humanitarian data with its innovative approaches to data collection in places like Yemen and its openness to sharing data globally.”

WFP and OCHA began collaborating last year when the HDX platform created an interactive visualization for food price data – available on WFP’s VAM Shop.

With funding from Google, WFP has also released the Application Programme Interface, which provides open access to large amounts of food security data that it collects in real-time through mobile technology.

Yemen: UN envoy adjourns peace talks till January pending enforcement of a proper ceasefire

20 December 2015

In the face of numerous violations of the cessation of hostilities in Yemen, the Special United Nations Envoy today decided to adjourn peace talks in Switzerland for a month to allow for bi-lateral in-country and regional consultations to achieve a ceasefire.

“Given the centrality of the cessation of hostilities to the success of talks, the Special Envoy has elected to adjourn the talks until the middle of January 2016,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said in a communiqué.

“In order to ensure adherence to the cessation of hostilities and enable sustainability, the Special Envoy judges that additional bilateral consultations will be required in Yemen and in the region in the coming weeks. The Special Envoy shall continue to work with the parties to identify and implement confidence-building measures that will help build respect for a durable ceasefire and peace process.”

The conflict between the factions has worsened Yemen’s already poor food situation, adding over 3 million people to the ranks of the hungry in less than a year, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has reported, with 7.6 million people severely food insecure – a level that requires urgent, external, food aid.

Last week, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners today appealed for $31 million to ensure the continuity of medical services for nearly 15 million Yemenis following the collapse of the country’s health system.

In his communiqué, Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed cited the parties’ constructive engagement in the UN-facilitated talks, but said progress was affected by numerous violations of the cessation of hostilities.

“Despite this, the parties made serious progress through identifying a framework for negotiations towards a comprehensive settlement, in addition to defining a set of relevant confidence-building measures relating to prisoner release, improved social services and improving the flow of humanitarian aid to Taiz (central Yemen) and other Yemeni governorates,” it said.

He noted that the parties agreed to develop a package of confidence-building measures including a mechanism for the release of prisoners to include all detainees and prisoners once a permanent ceasefire is in place, to establish a Co-ordination and De-escalation Committee of military advisors from both sides, facilitated by the UN, and to lift all forms of blockade and allow safe and rapid access for humanitarian supplies.

The participants also agreed to a negotiating framework for a comprehensive agreement to end the conflict and allow the resumption of inclusive political dialogue, to continue the work of the Coordination and De-escalation Committee and identify a suitable location for it in the region, to meet again for a second round of UN-facilitated talks, and to ensure a greater involvement of women in the talks.

“The Special Envoy wishes to commend the participants for the work so far undertaken and plans to convene the next round of these talks on 14 January 2016,” the communiqué concluded.

Yemen: UN delivers life-saving food aid to nearly 150,000 besieged residents in Taiz

10 December 2015

Braving fighting, airstrikes and checkpoints to bring life-saving aid to Yemenis living in dire conditions under a virtual state of siege, United Nations convoys have reached the central city of Taiz with enough food for nearly 145,000 people for a month, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) reported today.

“We are overcoming enormous access challenges to deliver much-needed assistance into the city, where the humanitarian situation has deteriorated over the past couple of months,” WFP’s Yemen Director Purnima Kashyap said, appealing for more funding to enable its operations to continue.

Two convoys of 31 trucks carrying various types of food arrived on Tuesday in the city’s Salah and al-Qahira areas and a third is currently on its way to Mudhafar district.

Overall, WFP has had to confront extreme difficulties in the war-torn country, where nearly 8 million people face severe food insecurity, to reach a million people on average every month since the conflict started earlier this year.

In November, it delivered food for 10,000 people in Taiz, a fraction of the total number in need. Due to intense fighting and airstrikes, access by road has been extremely difficult. WFP trucks have been stuck at checkpoints and access generally has been very limited. But in recent weeks, coordination between all parties on the ground has allowed WFP to move aid into Taiz.

“WFP needs freedom and safety of movement inside the country to reach as many people as possible with food assistance before they fall deeper into hunger,” Ms. Kashyam stressed.

Taiz is one of 10 governorates out of 22 that are in the grip of severe food insecurity at ‘Emergency’ level – one step below famine on the five-point Integrated Food Security Phase Classification scale. At least one in five households in the area does not have enough food for a healthy life, has lost its livelihood and faces life-threatening rates of acute malnutrition.

“We continue to plead with all parties to the conflict to help us provide life-saving assistance in a timely manner throughout the country,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. “We seize all opportunities allowing us to deliver more assistance.”

The conflict has worsened Yemen’s already poor food security situation, adding more than 3 million people to the ranks of the hungry in less than a year. According to the UN’s 2016 Humanitarian Needs Overview, 7.6 million people in Yemen are severely food insecure – a level of need that requires urgent, external, food assistance.

In November, WFP delivered food to all 19 governorates that are at Crisis and Emergency levels of hunger, reaching 1.8 million people.

WFP Warns Of Deepening Hunger In Southern Yemen City Of Taiz

29 October 2015 – SANA’A

The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) is deeply concerned about the dire food security situation in the city of Taiz in southern Yemen where a lack of humanitarian access has left tens of thousands of people without food assistance for more than a month.

WFP food assistance last reached Taiz more than five weeks ago through WFP’s local partner, which distributed food assistance to nearly 240,000 conflict-affected people in the city.

“We plead for safe and immediate access to the city of Taiz to prevent a humanitarian tragedy as supplies dwindle, threatening the lives of thousands – including women, children and the elderly,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

“These people have already suffered extreme hunger, and if this situation continues the damage from hunger will be irreversible.”

A June report classified Taiz and nine other of Yemen’s 22 governorates as facing food insecurity at ‘emergency’ level – one step below famine on a five-point international scale.

The recent deterioration in security in Taiz has had a severe impact on food and fuel availability and prices. According to WFP’s market monitoring for Yemen for the first half of October, essential food and fuel were scarce in governorates where fighting had escalated in recent weeks.

The report revealed that Taiz was the worst affected in Yemen with the price of diesel increasing by 500 percent compared to pre-crisis levels and the price of wheat flour doubling.

WFP has overcome extreme challenges to reach 1 million vulnerable people in Yemen on average every month since the conflict started earlier this year. In September and October, WFP expanded its reach, providing food assistance to over 2 million people each month.

Violence since late March has exacerbated Yemen’s already poor food security, adding more than 3 million people to the ranks of the severely hungry in less than a year. According to recent estimates, 7.6 million people are severely food insecure, a level of need requiring urgent external food assistance.

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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Mob +201066634352
Reem Nada, WFP/Cairo, Mob +201066634522
Marwa Awad, WFP/Amman, Mob +9627912925197
Peter Smerdon, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 0665132150, Mob. +39 3428784107
Gerald Bourke, WFP/New York, Tel. +1 646 5566909, Mob.  +1 646 525 9982

WFP Emergency Operation 200890: Emergency Food Assistance to the Food Insecure and Conflict-Affected People in Yemen

28 September 2015 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • Escalated armed conflict starting in March 2015 has had a devastating effect on Yemen, already one of the world’s most food insecure counties, with the over 1.3 million people displaced as of July 2015. This Emergency Operation (EMOP 200890), Emergency Food Assistance to the Food Insecure and Conflict-Affected People in Yemen, will address the emergency food and nutrition needs of food insecure women, men, boys, and girls (1,964,000 women/girls, 2,036,000 men/boys) displaced or affected by the current crisis.
  • Yemen faced a precarious nutrition situation prior to the conflict with chronic malnutrition in children under five years at critical levels of 47 percent in 2014 and a national global acute malnutrition rate of 12.7 percent in the same group. The gender inequality index ranks amongst the worst in the world1, and maternal mortality rate is 200 per 100,000 live births.
  • The food security situation in Yemen has sharply deteriorated since March 2015. Further deterioration is likely unless a political solution is reached in the near term. The June 2015 Yemen Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) analysis indicated that at least six million people are in need of life-saving emergency food assistance, with 10 of the 22 governorates under the IPC Phase 4 (emergency). Severe fuel shortages disrupted trade channels, where WFP market monitoring has shown the price of the main staple food, wheat, has increased by up to 119 percent in Aden; most Yemenis are unable to cope with the increased cost of basic food items.
  • To respond to the increased food and nutrition needs, WFP plans to assist up to four million affected people by March 2016 through general food assistance in the locations most affected by the crisis, especially in areas classified as Phase 4 and 3 by the IPC, through direct food transfers and through an innovative approach using food vouchers in coordination with the private sector supply chain network. In addition, WFP will provide specialized nutritional products to treat acute malnutrition in children under five and in pregnant and lactating women, as well as to prevent malnutrition in children 6-23 months. Through an emergency school feeding intervention, WFP will provide daily snacks to primary school children to encourage continuation of education during the crisis.
  • The EMOP is in line with the plans outlined Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP 2014-2015), which was revised in June 2015 based on the updated needs, and developed in consultation with the Food Security and Agriculture cluster and the Nutrition cluster.
  • The emergency response in Yemen aims to achieve WFP’s Strategic Objective one, to save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies.

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Yemen: UN emergency fund releases $15 million for critical aid operations

The Sea Athena arrived and unloaded a large shipment of wheat in Al-Saleef port in northwestern Yemen which will provide enough to feed more than 1 million people for two months. Photo: WFP

The Sea Athena arrived and unloaded a large shipment of wheat in Al-Saleef port in northwestern Yemen which will provide enough to feed more than 1 million people for two months. Photo: WFP

4 September 2015

The head of the United Nations humanitarian wing today released an emergency allocation of $15 million to help alleviate the “almost incomprehensible” scale of human suffering in Yemen where a “shocking” four out of every five Yemenis are lacking in such basic items for survival as clean water, food, fuel, and medicines.

“The civilian population is bearing the brunt of the conflict: a shocking four out of five Yemenis require humanitarian assistance and nearly 1.5 million people are internally displaced,” said Stephen O’Brien, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, who is also the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP), which is trying to expand assistance in Yemen to reach the more than 6 million people who require food aid announced today that enough wheat to feed more than 1 million for two months has arrived.

WFP said the wheat from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) arrived at the Al-Saleef port in north-western Yemen and is being milled into flour at the port.

The announcement by Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that Mr. O’Brien released an additional $15 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), bringing support for humanitarian operations in Yemen to more than $44 million in 2015.

According OCHA, the provision of basic services, including water, sanitation and healthcare, has been severely disrupted.

“Despite these immense challenges and safety concerns, relief organizations on the ground are working hard to reach people in need,” according OCHA.

“This latest allocation from CERF will help reduce the risk of communicable diseases through waste clean-up, the provision of clean water and urgent supplies for health facilities,” it said “CERF funds will be used for demining and the removal of unexploded ordnance, which will increase the safety of civilians and expand humanitarian space to reach people in need. People who have fled their homes will also receive household supplies such as mattresses, blankets, kitchen sets and water buckets.”

The conflict in Yemen intensified in March this year and aid agencies have since received over $44 million from CERF for critical assistance, including the provision of fuel, medicine, clean water, sanitation services and nutrition, OCHA said.

The CERF grants have been used to scale-up humanitarian air services and improve port facilities, facilitating the delivery of lifesaving assistance to affected communities.

“CERF continues to provide a lifeline for humanitarian operations in Yemen, but more funds are urgently needed,” Mr. O’Brien said. “I urge donors to continue supporting relief efforts in Yemen.”

The Fund pools donor contributions in a single fund so that money is available to start or continue urgent relief work anywhere in the world. Since its inception in 2006, 125 UN Member States and dozens of private sector donors and regional authorities have contributed to the Fund. CERF has allocated more than $4 billion in support of humanitarian operations in 95 countries and territories.

WFP Warns Of Food Crisis In Yemen Amid Challenges In Reaching People And Shortage Of Funding

Ertharin Cousin visits a health centre in Yemen where children receive nutrition supplements to fight malnutrition. Copyright: WFP/Abeer Etefa

Ertharin Cousin visits a health centre in Yemen where children receive nutrition supplements to fight malnutrition. Copyright: WFP/Abeer Etefa

19 August 2015 – SANA’A/ADEN

Seeing first-hand the challenges facing millions of people affected by the crisis in Yemen, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, warned that lack of immediate and unhindered access to people who urgently need food assistance and the shortage of funding create the possibility of famine for millions, mostly women and children already hungry in this war-torn country.

The conflict exacerbates the country’s extremely fragile food security situation. WFP estimates that the number of food insecure people in Yemen is now close to 13 million, including 6 million who are severely food insecure and in urgent need of external assistance – that is one in five of the country’s population.

“Right now, the conflict-driven convergence between the lack of staple food, access to clean water, and a diminished fuel supply create the dawn of a perfect storm for the most vulnerable Yemeni people,” said Ertharin Cousin, WFP Executive Director.

“The disruption in the commercial food sector creates significant reductions in imports which causes an inflationary effect on market prices for food and other basic commodities. As a result, we are starting to see a double effect of the conflict as even the people who could previously afford to meet their food needs are today unable to buy food.”

During a three-day visit, Cousin, travelled to Sana’a, Amran and Aden. She met with displaced families taking refuge in school buildings, mothers and their young malnourished children at health centres and hospitals, as well as families at food distribution sites. She also held meetings with the authorities on both sides of the frontlines, WFP staff, UN sister agencies and NGO partners.

More than 1.2 million children are suffering from moderate acute malnutrition and over half a million children are severely malnourished. “The damage to Yemen’s next generation may become irreversible if we don’t reach children quickly with the right food at the right time. We must act now before it is too late,” said Cousin.

The recent fighting around major ports will stall the commercial and humanitarian supplies to the country mainly food and fuel. Shortages of fuel are not only impacting the food distribution system of both the humanitarian and the private sector but will have a devastating effect on access to clean water, health, electricity and other basic services.

WFP has reached 3.5 million people with food since the beginning of the conflict but the fighting makes deliveries difficult and dangerous. Many road networks in the hardest hit areas of the country are still not operational, making communities in conflict-areas inaccessible for aid workers.

A recent vulnerability assessment conducted by WFP using mobile phone technology, reaching some of the households in areas inaccessible by teams on the ground, reflected that the deteriorating food security situation is particularly affecting the internally displaced families. Many families are existing on bread, rice and tea. The most common themes mentioned by the people interviewed for the assessment are “high food prices”, “shortages”, “lack of water” and a “deteriorating” situation.

The assessment showed that emergency food security conditions currently prevail in conflict-affected governorates. This phase is one step away from famine levels. Food insecurity is most severe for the country’s 1.3 million internally displaced people.

Shortage of drinking water is a critical issue. The price of water in Sana’a had tripled since the start of the conflict because pumping systems have been hit by the lack of diesel fuel. Water is critical for families to prepare food and has an impact on people keeping livestock, which is very important for livelihoods in the country.

An emergency operation planned to start in September is expected to cost some US$320 million for a period of six months. WFP implores the entire global community to recognize the urgency of the Yemeni crisis, with a specific call to those who have made commitments to expeditiously fulfil their pledges. WFP is grateful to the donors who have financially contributed or pledged support to the Yemen response including the European Commission (ECHO), Germany, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

#                              #                                 #

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp_mena

View video from Aden and Sana’a here

For broadcast quality video download here

Download stills photos here

Read the latest WFP Food Security Bulletin here
For more information please contact: (email: firstname.lastname@wfp.org)
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +201066634352
Dina El-Kassaby, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +2010 15218882
Reem Nada, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +20106663452
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington DC, Tel. +1 202 653 1149, Mob. +1 202 770 5993

 

WFP Warns Of Food Crisis In Yemen Amid Challenges In Reaching People And Shortage Of Funding

Ertharin Cousin visits a health centre in Yemen where children receive nutrition supplements to fight malnutrition. Copyright: WFP/Abeer Etefa

Ertharin Cousin visits a health centre in Yemen where children receive nutrition supplements to fight malnutrition. Copyright: WFP/Abeer Etefa

19 August 2015 – SANA’A/ADEN

Seeing first-hand the challenges facing millions of people affected by the crisis in Yemen, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, warned that lack of immediate and unhindered access to people who urgently need food assistance and the shortage of funding create the possibility of famine for millions, mostly women and children already hungry in this war-torn country.

The conflict exacerbates the country’s extremely fragile food security situation. WFP estimates that the number of food insecure people in Yemen is now close to 13 million, including 6 million who are severely food insecure and in urgent need of external assistance – that is one in five of the country’s population.

“Right now, the conflict-driven convergence between the lack of staple food, access to clean water, and a diminished fuel supply create the dawn of a perfect storm for the most vulnerable Yemeni people,” said Ertharin Cousin, WFP Executive Director.

“The disruption in the commercial food sector creates significant reductions in imports which causes an inflationary effect on market prices for food and other basic commodities. As a result, we are starting to see a double effect of the conflict as even the people who could previously afford to meet their food needs are today unable to buy food.”

During a three-day visit, Cousin, travelled to Sana’a, Amran and Aden. She met with displaced families taking refuge in school buildings, mothers and their young malnourished children at health centres and hospitals, as well as families at food distribution sites. She also held meetings with the authorities on both sides of the frontlines, WFP staff, UN sister agencies and NGO partners.

More than 1.2 million children are suffering from moderate acute malnutrition and over half a million children are severely malnourished. “The damage to Yemen’s next generation may become irreversible if we don’t reach children quickly with the right food at the right time. We must act now before it is too late,” said Cousin.

The recent fighting around major ports will stall the commercial and humanitarian supplies to the country mainly food and fuel. Shortages of fuel are not only impacting the food distribution system of both the humanitarian and the private sector but will have a devastating effect on access to clean water, health, electricity and other basic services.

WFP has reached 3.5 million people with food since the beginning of the conflict but the fighting makes deliveries difficult and dangerous. Many road networks in the hardest hit areas of the country are still not operational, making communities in conflict-areas inaccessible for aid workers.

A recent vulnerability assessment conducted by WFP using mobile phone technology, reaching some of the households in areas inaccessible by teams on the ground, reflected that the deteriorating food security situation is particularly affecting the internally displaced families. Many families are existing on bread, rice and tea. The most common themes mentioned by the people interviewed for the assessment are “high food prices”, “shortages”, “lack of water” and a “deteriorating” situation.

The assessment showed that emergency food security conditions currently prevail in conflict-affected governorates. This phase is one step away from famine levels. Food insecurity is most severe for the country’s 1.3 million internally displaced people.

Shortage of drinking water is a critical issue. The price of water in Sana’a had tripled since the start of the conflict because pumping systems have been hit by the lack of diesel fuel. Water is critical for families to prepare food and has an impact on people keeping livestock, which is very important for livelihoods in the country.

An emergency operation planned to start in September is expected to cost some US$320 million for a period of six months. WFP implores the entire global community to recognize the urgency of the Yemeni crisis, with a specific call to those who have made commitments to expeditiously fulfil their pledges. WFP is grateful to the donors who have financially contributed or pledged support to the Yemen response including the European Commission (ECHO), Germany, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

#                              #                                 #

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp_mena

View video from Aden and Sana’a here

For broadcast quality video download here

Download stills photos here

Read the latest WFP Food Security Bulletin here
For more information please contact: (email: firstname.lastname@wfp.org)
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +201066634352
Dina El-Kassaby, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +2010 15218882
Reem Nada, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +20106663452
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington DC, Tel. +1 202 653 1149, Mob. +1 202 770 5993

WFP PUTS SHIPMENT OF SUB-STANDARD WHEAT FLOUR ON HOLD

14 July 2015 – SANA’A

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) stopped a shipment of wheat flour from leaving the port of Hodeidah after an inspection commissioned by WFP found it to be not fit for distribution.

As part of the quality control of all food imports by both the Yemeni authorities and WFP, the wheat flour was inspected inside the port on 5 July. The shipment of 3,000 metric tons of wheat flour was found to be infested, and has therefore not been released for distribution and is being kept inside the port. The flour will be shipped out of the country.
The wheat flour was shipped on 30 May from a supplier in Jordan and reached Hodeidah Port on 9 June. WFP normally imports wheat grain or buys it from local suppliers, then mills it in the country, as flour is sensitive to heat and humidity, but lack of fuel to keep the mills working has made this difficult.
In addition, congestion in Yemeni’s Hodeidah port has led to a long waiting period for ships to berth and offload their cargo, which may have contributed to the deterioration of quality, given the extreme heat.

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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 75 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media, @WFP_MENA

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +2 01066634352

Ahead of Yemen ceasefire, UNICEF sounds alarm about impact of crisis on children

A boy pushes a wheelbarrow filled with jerrycans in Sanaa, the Yemeni, capital. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2015-1291/Yasin

A boy pushes a wheelbarrow filled with jerrycans in Sanaa, the Yemeni, capital. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2015-1291/Yasin

10 July 2015

Yemen’s humanitarian crisis has reached a new low amid disintegrating health services and the spread of infectious disease among children, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) confirmed today just hours before a ceasefire aimed at facilitating the delivery of critical relief is slated to begin.

Speaking to reporters earlier this afternoon in Geneva, UNICEF spokesperson Christophe Boulierac explained that the UN agency and its partners were stepping up a series of initiatives targeting Yemen’s struggling children, including nutrition screening, vaccinations and other life-saving interventions.

In the southern city of Aden, for instance, UNICEF had supplied emergency ambulances, as well as blood testing and transfusion services to ensure that injured children could receive immediate treatment.

Mr. Boulierac added that the UNICEF team in Aden was also currently supporting an immunization campaign as part of a nation-wide drive aimed at vaccinating around one million children under the age of one against measles, polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

“Our mobile teams and staff have to brave extremely hazardous conditions, risking their lives to reach children and women wherever they can. If they don’t do that more children are likely to die from malnutrition and preventable diseases,” Julien Harneis, UNICEF Representative in Yemen said in a press release.

“But what Yemen really needs now is a return to peace, a solution to the fuel and power crisis and restoration of regular health services”, Mr. Harneis added.

According to the latest UN data, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen has been steadily deteriorating since the outbreak of fighting in late March 2015.

In the past three months alone, some 3,000 Yemenis have been killed, half of them civilians, and 14,000 others injured. Over a million people have had to flee their homes and 21 million need immediate help, close to 13 million people are unable to meet their food needs, 15 million people have no healthcare and outbreaks of dengue and malaria are raging unchecked.

Humanitarian partners have reached 4.4 million people with aid in the past three months, but this is a fraction of those in need, says the UN Spokesperson’s office. The United Nations, the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement and international non-governmental organizations working together have now activated the highest level of emergency response.

At the same time, just yesterday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the beginning of a humanitarian pause on Friday, 10 July, to permit humanitarian actors to reach civilians in need.

Today, the UN Security Council welcomed the announcement and emphasized that all parties would need to suspend military operations during the pause and that no party should take advantage of the pause to move weapons or seize territory.

Further, the Council urged all parties to facilitate the urgent delivery of humanitarian assistance to all parts of Yemen, as well as rapid, safe, and unhindered access for humanitarian actors to reach people in need of humanitarian assistance, including medical assistance.

The announcement of the pause comes at a critical moment for Yemen’s children, according to the UNICEF spokesperson who reported that more than 2.5 million children were at risk of diarrhoeal diseases, half a million were at risk of severe acute malnutrition, more than 1.3 million children faced the threat of acute respiratory tract infections and 2.6 million of them under the age of 15 were not protected against measles.

To that point, Mr. Boulierac reiterated the UN’s call all parties to enable the urgent delivery of food, water and medical attention to the most vulnerable populations in Yemen during the pause.

Also addressing the briefing was World Food Programme (WFP) spokesperson, Elisabeth Byrs, who cited the agency’s efforts over the past months in reaching close to 2 million people with emergency food aid.

Nevertheless, she added, numerous obstacles continued to impede the UN agency’s access to vulnerable populations including damaged roads and multiple checkpoints.