Via the UN News Centre: Millions of Yemenis face food insecurity amid escalating conflict, UN agency warns. Excerpt:
Nearly 11 million people in Yemen are severely food insecure and millions more are at risk of being unable to meet their basic food needs, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agency (FAO) said today, calling for $8 million in funding to support farmers amidst the escalating conflict.
“We are entering a crucial period for crop production in Yemen and now, more than ever, agriculture cannot be an afterthought if we want to prevent more people from becoming food insecure amidst this crisis,” said FAO Representative for Yemen, Salah Hajj Hassan.
According to the agency’s latest assessment, increasing conflict in nearly all major towns across the country is disrupting markets and trade, driving up local food prices and hampering agricultural production, including land preparation and planting for the 2015 harvests.
Some 10.6 million Yemenis are now severely food insecure, of which 4.8 million are facing “emergency” conditions, suffering from severe lack of food access, very high malnutrition, and irreversible destruction of livelihoods. Around 850,000 children are acutely malnourished.
More than half of Yemen’s population – some 16 million out of a total of 26 million – is in need of some form of humanitarian aid and has no access to safe water.
The latest escalation of conflicts is expected to further increase food insecurity in the poverty-stricken country. Paradoxically, some 2.5 million food producers, including farmers, pastoralists, fishermen and agricultural wage labourers, are among those identified as food insecure.