The World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed the UN Secretary General’s announcement of military de-escalation in the governorates of Taiz and Hodeidah – two densely populated zones in Yemen which have seen some of the most intense fighting.
The warring parties have committed to an immediate ceasefire in the port city of Hodeidah and its surrounding governorate at the end of a week of peace talks in Sweden.
The port is Yemen’s lifeline and the only way that food and fuel get into the country. Yemen imports 90 percent of its food needs.
A province-wide ceasefire in Hodeidah should mean better humanitarian access and a sustained flow of food, fuel and commercial and humanitarian goods to the war-stricken population. This agreement will allow the ports of Hodeidah and Saleef to operate at near-normal capacity. The free flow of commercial food supplies into Yemen should prevent further increases in food prices which have skyrocketed.
Yemen imports 90 percent of its food and the port of Hodeidah receives 70 percent of these imports. With the conflict intensifying over recent weeks, there has been a decrease by about 50 percent in shipments into Hodeida port operations as shipping companies were reluctant to use the port due to fighting.
Taiz and Hodeidah will benefit the most from this ceasefire. In the most recent food security assessment (IPC), hunger was more severe in active conflict zones with some of the worst-affected areas in Hodeidah and Taiz governorates showing people in near-famine conditions (Phase 5 level). Around 70 percent of people in Taiz and Hodeidah governorates are severely food insecure (phase 3 and higher).
The world’s largest humanitarian relief operation is underway in Yemen. WFP is currently scaling up to reach as many as 12 million people every month with the food and nutrition assistance. Among these are some 3 million women and children who need special support to treat and prevent malnutrition.WFP