Yemen war: financing crisis forces UN to cut food aid

The World Food Program (WFP) had to cut food aid for eight million people in need in Yemen because it ran out of funds.

Temenian women and children fill their canisters with water from a tanker in the Al-Maafer district in southwest Taez Governorate, amid an acute water shortage.
Photo: AFP

As of January, affected families will receive almost half of the daily minimum ration from the UN authorities.

The five million Yemenis, who are in immediate danger of starvation, are being supplied with a full ration for the time being.

The WFP warned that its food supplies were dangerously low and major cuts would soon be inevitable.

Of the NZ $ 5.64 billion requested by UN agencies for humanitarian aid in the war-torn country this year, donors pledged just NZ $ 3.2 billion.

The WFP needs NZ $ 1.19 billion to continue helping the most vulnerable through May and NZ $ 2.89 billion to help those on the brink of famine in 2022.

“Every time we cut down on food, we know that more people who are already hungry and food insecure are joining the hungry millions,” said Corinne Fleischer, WFP Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“But desperate times call for desperate action, and we need to push our limited resources and prioritize and focus on the people who are in the most critical condition,” she added.

Without new funding, the WFP could be forced to cut people out of food aid programs entirely. Malnutrition treatment and children’s food supplies can also be reduced.

According to the WFP, half of all families – around 16 million people – are affected by insufficient food consumption, with the devaluation of the Yemen rial and hyperinflation causing the economy to collapse.

Food prices have more than doubled in much of the country this year, while fighting on multiple front lines has displaced tens of thousands of people.

Yemen was ravaged by a conflict that escalated in 2015 when the Iranian-allied Houthi movement took control of large parts of the country and a Saudi Arabia-led coalition launched an operation to restore the rule of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

More than 130,000 people are reported to have died in the fighting, while an estimated tens of thousands more have died from indirect causes such as lack of food, health services and infrastructure.


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