As Yemen humanitarian crisis escalates, small number of governments step up to save lives

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Published on 22 December 2017

ROME – With more than eight million people now dependent on food assistance for survival in Yemen, the fate of those caught up in the country’s long running conflict is now in the hands of a small number of donor governments. Nearly 80 percent of United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) funding for Yemen this year has been provided by the United States, Germany, the European Union, and the United Kingdom, with the US providing the largest single amount (US$386 million).

“We are more than 1,000 days into the Yemen crisis, and the only way we’re able to continue to offer assistance for millions of Yemenis is due to the generosity of a handful of dedicated countries,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley. “The people of these countries and their governments are saving lives in Yemen every day, and we say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for their support. But the situation remains desperate, so we need more governments to provide funding immediately so we can keep people alive. And most importantly, we call for an end to the conflict that is causing this catastrophe.”

Additional significant contributions to WFP operations in Yemen this year have come from Japan, UN Funds and Agencies, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), Saudi Arabia, Norway and Canada. CERF receives broad support from UN Member States, with Germany, Sweden, the UK, Netherlands and Norway topping its list of donors in 2017.

Despite the generosity of these donors, WFP operations in Yemen require an additional US$277 million to provide food assistance through June next year. Since August, WFP has provided food assistance to seven million people, but around half of these people received a mere 60% of their rations due to funding constraints.

Yemen in Numbers

  • Population: 29.3 million
  • Internally displaced people including returnees: 3 million
  • People in need of humanitarian assistance: 22.2 million
  • People who are food-insecure: 17.8 million
  • People who are severely food-insecure: 8.4 million
  • Acutely malnourished children six months to five years: 1.8 million
  • Acutely malnourished pregnant or nursing women: 1.1 million
  • Children under-five suffering from severe acute malnutrition: 400,000

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

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