UN says forced to slash food aid to war-torn Yemen

Funding gaps, price rises and the fallout from the Ukraine war affects the food aid



Internally displaced people wait for food aid to be distributed by a charity in Taiz. — Reuters file
Internally displaced people wait for food aid to be distributed by a charity in Taiz. — Reuters file

By AFP

Published: Mon 27 Jun 2022, 8:28 PM

The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) has announced further reductions of food aid to war-torn Yemen as a result of funding gaps, price rises and the fallout from the Ukraine war.

“Critical funding gaps, global inflation and the knock-on effects of the war in Ukraine have forced WFP in Yemen to make some extremely tough decisions about the support we provide to our beneficiaries,” the food aid programme tweeted on Sunday.

As a result, it said, it had to drastically scale back assistance for 13 million Yemenis who receive emergency food aid in the country that the UN says is facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

“We are now being driven to scale back that support for five million of those people to less than 50 per cent of the daily requirement, and for the other eight million to around 25 per cent of the daily requirement,” the WFP said.

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“Resilience and livelihood activities, and school feeding and nutrition programmes will cease for four million people, leaving assistance available for only 1.8 million people,” it added.

Yemen’s seven-year conflict has killed more than 150,000 people and displaced millions of civilians, according to the UN.

Warring parties in the impoverished country renewed earlier this month a two-month truce that began in April and that aid agencies and Western governments say has significantly reduced fighting.

But the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, David Gressly, previously warned that the humanitarian situation is worsening in the country, saying almost three quarters of the population is in need of assistance.

“WFP is acutely aware of the devastating impact of the cuts on Yemen’s poorest and most needy families and we do not take their plight lightly,” the UN’s food aid arm added.

Yemen’s conflict broke out in 2014, when Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital Sanaa, prompting a Saudi-led coalition to intervene the following year to prop up the internationally-recognised government.

The already food insecure country is particularly vulnerable to spiralling global food and energy prices as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.


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