el Yemen

el Yemen

Read more about FAO in emergencies and the crisis in Yemen Yemen faces the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The country has become increasingly unstable since the conflict escalated dramatically in mid-March 2015, severely disrupting the economy, including the agriculture sector. With the deterioration of the security situation, population movement and humanitarian access have become increasingly restricted, including in some of the worst-affected areas.

As a result of sustained conflict, millions of Yemenis engaged in agriculture lack access to critical inputs. Limited access to water supply for irrigation, high fuel prices and shortages of seeds and fertilizers have crippled crop production across the country. An estimated 17 million people – equivalent to 60 percent of the total population – are food insecure and require urgent humanitarian assistance to save lives and livelihoods. This represents a 20 percent increase since June 2016.

Conflict and displacement, volatile food and commodity prices, drought and a sharp drop in remittances have pushed more people into poverty and hunger. The ongoing conflict – now in its third year – is seriously impacting food imports, transportation networks and market supply, and increasing the price of imported and locally produced food. Yemen is largely dependent on imports (90–95 percent of its staple food) from international markets to satisfy domestic consumption, in addition to wheat – its main staple. This is heavily impacting local agricultural production and marketing. As a consequence, the supply and distribution of locally produced food to markets is poor, causing devastating effects on livelihoods and the nutrition situation.

More than half a million people have been hit by the worst and largest cholera epidemic the world has ever seen and thousands have died since the outbreak began at the end of April. The epidemic has spread rapidly due to deteriorating hygiene and sanitation conditions and disruptions to the water supply across the country.

Although only a small proportion of food is produced domestically, nearly two-thirds of Yemenis derive their livelihoods from agriculture. Before the current escalation of conflict, Yemen was in dire need of strengthening its agriculture sector. FAO is working to revitalize crop and livestock production in Yemen so that the poorest and most vulnerable groups – displaced people, households headed by women, children – have access to nutritious food and are better equipped to cope with future shocks. Likewise, FAO is increasing its effort to support local food production, protect the livelihoods of highly vulnerable rural populations and improve immediate household availability of and access to food for the most vulnerable people in Yemen.

FAO’s priority interventions are to:

  • Improve the agricultural and livestock production of vulnerable households through agricultural inputs, small-scale irrigation vegetable production, vaccinating and treating livestock, animal feed and training community animal health workers.
  • Diversify income and livelihoods through cash-for-work activities, rehabilitating water infrastructure, backyard poultry keeping, fishing activities and beekeeping activities.
  • Strengthen coordination through rapid and thematic assessments, building the capacity of cluster partners, food security and livelihoods-related topics and the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification.

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