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Yemen: 17 million people experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity, 2.2 million children acutely malnourished due to conflict, economic shocks & lack of humanitarian assistance


The acute food insecurity and malnutrition situation in Yemen has deteriorated further in 2022, with 17.4 million people (IPC Phase 3 and above) in need of assistance as of now, increasing to 19 million starting June to the end of the year. Of greatest concern is the 31,000 people facing extreme hunger levels (IPC Phase 5 Catastrophe) now, rising to 161,000 by June. In addition, approximately 2.2 million children under the age of five, including 538,000 severely malnourished, and about 1.3 million pregnant and lactating women are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition over the course of 2022. The severity increases dramatically in the projection period for both food insecurity and acute malnutrition, with 86 districts moving to higher IPC Phases, 82 of which move from Phase 3 to Phase 4.

Conflict and economic crisis remain the main drivers of acute food insecurity and malnutrition in Yemen, further exacerbated by the instability of humanitarian assistance. The outlook for 2022 indicates that both features will continue, with a likelihood of further escalation of fighting in critical hotspots, thereby leading to further displacement. In addition, as a result of the protracted conflict, access to public services has been brought to a near-halt resulting in delays/cuts of salaries, poor access to health services, inadequate access to water, and other services such as education, energy, etc. remain severely compromised.
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Actions Needed

  • Ending the war and Economic destabilisation
    Parties involved in the conflict to immediately cease armed activities and hostilities to protect Yemeni lives and livelihoods. Relevant stakeholders should lift the restrictions of the ports to abate the burden of fuel shortages, expedite the movement of much-needed goods, and reduce their prices. There is a further urgent need to allow and advocate for an unimpeded flow of humanitarian and commercial imports that serve essential needs into and within the country. Ending the war in Yemen will also pave the way to reconstruction and focus on longer-term investments to tackle the underlying causes of food and nutrition insecurity. Furthermore, an urgent review of the economic and fiscal policies is required to restore confidence and support the regeneration of the foreign currency reserves.
  • Provide life-saving humanitarian assistance
    To stop and reverse inexorable deterioration, donors to provide urgently needed resources to enable sourcing and delivery of critical life-saving food assistance to populations facing large food consumption gaps.
  • Provide livelihood support and diversification
    Considering the diminished resilience of people, the high level of vulnerability to shocks, and the chronic nature of food insecurity and malnutrition, close collaboration between humanitarian & development programmes are needed to tackle the underlying causes of food insecurity and malnutrition and enhance resilience.
  • Improve inter-sectoral programming
    Advocate for and support an integrated multisectoral approach for programming focused on the four key sectors; food security, nutrition, health and WASH. These would include: continuing integrated primary health care services including immunisation, hygiene promotion and WASH interventions at facility and community level; supporting integrated livelihood and nutrition preventive and curative programmes as well as programming through general food assistance (food, vouchers and cash) as well as supporting livelihoods, promoting kitchen gardening at household & community level and supporting cash programming.
  • Strengthen monitoring and early warning systems
    Joint and coordinated efforts in monitoring food security and nutrition indicators for early action/early warning are essential. Given the fragile context, the risk factors and key drivers of food insecurity and acute malnutrition should be monitored regularly. Relevant stakeholders should strengthen their monitoring systems in a coordinated manner, improve and expand data collection and sharing, and ensure timely analysis to comprehend the extent of the situation and ascertain when to trigger early action.

YEMEN: Famine Review of the Acute Food Insecurity and Acute Malnutrition Analyses

The Famine Review Committee (FRC) was activated with a request to assess the plausibility of the IPC Yemen Technical Working Group (TWG) Acute Food Insecurity (AFI) and Acute Malnutrition (AMN) classifications in five areas (Abs, Haradh and Midi in Hajjah Governorate and Al Hali and Al Hawak in Al Hudaydah governorate). The FRC found that the classifications and population estimates, conducted with the information available at the time of the analysis, are broadly plausible for the current and projected classifications in Abs, Al Hali and Al Hawak. However, the FRC concluded that there is not a body of evidence supporting a famine classification. for Midi and Haradh. The FRC considers the extrapolation done from Abs data, for both AFI and AMN analyses, are not plausible; and recommends the IPC TWG does not classify these areas but reassess the presence of populations residing in these districts as well as their conditions.

It is paramount to note that in the immediate aftermath of the FRC activation, the Ukraine crisis unfolded generating the need to review the scenario definition for the projected period.
The risks associated with the crisis in Ukraine point to the need to re-assess the assumptions developed by the IPC analysis teams. Notably the prices and supply of wheat and fuel, as well as a change in the geopolitics surrounding the Yemen conflict and possible shifts in humanitarian programming in the coming months.

The FRC has identified a number of risk factors that may be subject to rapid change during 2022. These factors and/or the potential degree of change relate to recent developments and could not have been foreseen at the time of the Yemen IPC analyses. Nevertheless, the FRC believes these factors may affect the TWG classifications over the time periods they cover.
The FRC urges the closest possible monitoring not only of each of the risk factors individually, particularly their cumulative impact, during the current and projection periods. Without close monitoring and rapid response to any changes, it is feasible that the severity of the food security, nutrition, and health situation in Yemen could exceed the levels currently specified in the current and projection time periods.

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