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World Food Program Rushes Emergency Relief in Yemen

The World Food Programme (WFP) said its emergency response in Yemen was its largest anywhere in the world as it was aiming to feed some 12 million of the most hungry and vulnerable people each month.

WFP said it was targeting the most vulnerable and food insecure people in Yemen adding that this level of response was vital to prevent the country slipping into famine. 

Some 20 million people in Yemen face crippling shortages of food, according to a food security assessment (IPC) carried out in late 2018. WFP said these people require urgent and sustained food assistance to survive. 

Even with food assistance, nearly 16 million people remain food insecure – struggling on a daily basis to feed themselves. Without intervention by WFP and other humanitarian organizations, 238,000 Yemenis would be facing famine.

Some 20 million people in Yemen face crippling shortages of food, according to a food security assessment (IPC) carried out in late 2018. WFP said these people require urgent and sustained food assistance to survive. 

Even with food assistance, nearly 16 million people remain food insecure – struggling on a daily basis to feed themselves. Without intervention by WFP and other humanitarian organizations, 238,000 Yemenis would be facing famine.

WFP said Yemen’s food security crisis is entirely man-made. It stressed that urgent measures are needed to stabilize prices and rebuild Yemenis’ capacity to secure the basics of life. Prices of essential goods have stabilized in recent months but remain much higher pre-conflict levels. 

2.05 million children in Yemen are acutely malnourished, of whom 360,000 suffer from severe acute malnutrition. 1.1 million pregnant and lactating women are acutely malnourished. 

WFP said one in three children and one in five pregnant and breastfeeding women are at risk of acute malnutrition.

A child dies every 10 minutes from preventable causes, including malnutrition and vaccine-preventable diseases, with acute malnutrition attributed directly and indirectly to almost half of deaths among children under five.

WFP said half of children in Yemen are stunted due to chronic malnutrition and stunting rates have increased one percent per year since the beginning of the crisis. 

Stunting affects a child’s growth and brain development, irreversibly, and will therefore have a damning effect on Yemen’s productivity and GDP for generations to come, even after the conflict ends.

In 2018 WFP reached 939,000 children under five and 670,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women to prevent acute malnutrition and treat moderate acute malnutrition.

WFP said it was working on plans to scale up efforts to reach 620,000 children and 710,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women (1.33 million total) in January 2019 with lifesaving nutrition support. 

WFP said without adequate resources and safe access, it would be unable to reach children whose lives are at imminent risk~WFP 


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