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Yemen Partial Analysis (133 districts): High levels of food insecurity persist, amidst deterioration of the economy, conflict and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Out of the total population of 7.9 million people in the 133 analysed districts, two million were estimated to be highly food insecure (IPC Phase 3 and above) in the period from February to April 2020, representing 25 percent of the population analysed. The IPC analysis estimates that in the period from July to December 2020, the population facing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 and above) increases to 3.2 million people (40 percent of the analysed population) if humanitarian food assistance is kept at the current levels. Although compared to the 2018/19 IPC results, this analysis (July – December 2020) shows an improvement with more than half a million people having transitioned to below IPC Phase 3, this was driven primarily by scale-up of humanitarian food assistance which increased by 47 percent in the same period. Given the fragility of Yemen, these gains could be reversed quickly if the level and scale of humanitarian assistance reduces or other significant shocks occur.
  • Food insecurity is high in areas characterised by active fighting, which leads to access restrictions that affect coverage of humanitarian food assistance, access to markets, and constant population displacements. The analysis shows that out of the 133 districts analysed, 16 are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4), 103 are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) while the remainder are in Stressed (IPC Phase 2). In terms of severity, the 16 worst affected districts, classified in Emergency (IPC Phase 4), are located in eight governorates: Al Dhalee (3), Marib (3), Al Bayda (2), Shabwah (2), Abyan (2), Taizz (2), Al Jawf (1) and Hadramaut (1). In terms of magnitude, the governorates with the highest numbers of people in Crisis or worse (IPC Phase 3+) are Taizz (590,000), Lahj (487,500) and Hadramaut (465,500). Between the two periods of analysis, February to April and July to December, the increase in people in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) and above is concentrated in the six governorates, representing 83 percent of the increase, that is, Abyan, Aden, Ad Dhalee, Hadramaut, Lahj and Taizz.


  • Economic decline: Yemen’s economy has suffered a serious decline over the years with a 19 percent depreciation of the national currency since December 2019, at least a 20 percent drop in remittances, while fuel exports have also reduced by 18 percent in the last six months.
  • Conflict: Protracted conflict in Yemen, including new frontlines, continues to lead to population displacement, estimated at 1.3 million people in the analysed districts and expected to increase due to ongoing new conflict. Conflict continues to affect the ailing economy and complicates humanitarian delivery.
  • COVID-19: The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly spreading in Yemen, exacerbating the country’s economic problems. Effects of COVID-19 in Yemen and abroad have led to loss of income, a sharp drop in remittances reducing purchasing power, and increased food expenditure.
  • Natural disasters: The devastating combination of natural disasters including flash floods, disease outbreaks, desert locusts, and Fall Armyworm infestations has pushed many households into desperation.

Actions Needed

  • Ensure continued and unhindered provision of direct food assistance to save lives and measures to protect livelihoods of populations estimated to be in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency) and IPC Phase 3 (Crisis). Special attention should be given to displaced people and fragile populations facing major food consumption gaps in priority districts;
  • Consider a complimentary food assistance approach to protect livelihoods by reducing food consumption gaps of the populations estimated to be in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis); including but not limited to:
    • Promote the restoration and recovery of livelihoods of populations in IPC Phase 3 through the provision of agricultural inputs (seeds, plant material, tools, and irrigation system) and livestock, with particular focus on the areas affected by natural hazards such as Fall Armyworm, desert locusts and floods
    • Develop short to medium term interventions to support people with vulnerable urban livelihoods who suffer from COVID-19 mitigation measures and the loss of income opportunities
    • Build and strengthen community resilience by providing safety nets; scale-up programmes for improved self-reliance, and social protection to vulnerable communities classified under IPC Phase 2 (Stressed) and above
    • Support activities that promote the prevention of post-harvest losses
  • Support rehabilitation of water infrastructures that have been damaged by floods to reduce the impacts of future floods that are likely to happen during the cyclone season;
  • Promote good nutritional practices at the household level through nutrition sensitive activities such as home gardening and educational awareness on food and water safety;
  • Strengthen early warning and general food security monitoring systems to mitigate the negative impact of shocks, monitor key assumptions driving the analysis, and enable a rapid and coordinated response.

Population in IPC Phases



IPC Classification Map

February - April 2020
July - December 2020

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