FAO-Belgium project protects food and income sources amidst conflict in Yemen

FAO-Belgium project protects food and income sources amidst conflict in Yemen

17/09/2015

Belgium’s USD 1 million contribution to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) emergency programme in Yemen will help more than 21 600 farming families preserve their livelihoods amidst the ongoing conflict.

Small-scale food production is an increasingly vital lifeline for food insecure families affected by the conflict in Yemen. Since March 2015, conflict escalation and displacement have severely disrupted market, trade and livelihood activities, exacerbating an already dire food security situation. Around 12.9 million people – over half of the population – face Emergency and Crisis levels of food insecurity: a 21 percent increase since 2014. The governorates with the highest levels of food insecurity are also those most affected by conflict. The majority of people in these areas depend on agriculture for their food, income and wellbeing.

The FAO-Belgium project will protect and improve the agricultural livelihoods of 21 635 households (about 121 150 people) in six districts of Sa’adah Governorate. It will contribute to keeping livestock alive by providing vaccines that are no longer available in the affected areas, and conducting livestock vaccination campaigns. This will help families preserve their access to nutritious foods, such as meat and dairy products, and related incomes. Families will also receive quality crop seeds, fertilizer and drip irrigation pipes to restore production of wheat, sorghum and vegetables. Many of the project’s interventions, including honey production, focus on livelihood activities where women play an active role.

Belgium remains the top donor to the FAO’s Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities, which enables both to rapidly respond to the crisis, financing the immediate purchase of essential agricultural inputs and quickly launching field activities to protect livelihoods and safeguard food security and nutrition.