FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

Saudi Arabia contributes US$ 5 million to FAO’s emergency livelihood assistance in Yemen

The FAO project aims at benefiting 31 400 conflict and COVID-19 affected households in planned districts within Shabwah governorate – one of Yemen’s most food-insecure areas

©FAO/Abdulhakim - FAO's livestock vaccination campaign.

14 October 2020, Cairo - Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Humanitarian Aid & Relief Centre (KSrelief) has contributed $5 million to FAO’s efforts in support of people facing severe food insecurity and malnutrition in Yemen especially after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yemen remains the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Economic shocks, on-going conflicts, large-scale displacements, repeated climate and pest-related agricultural shocks; and now COVID-19, are hampering food security and better nutrition efforts.

The new Saudi’s grant will back FAO’s Yemen Plan of Action, boost the Organization’s emergency agricultural interventions and alleviate the suffering of the food insecure Yemeni population who are affected by the pandemic.

The emergency project will target more than 31 400 of the most vulnerable households (around 220 000 people), specifically women and women-headed households, and both resident and internally displaced, across nine districts throughout Yemen’s Shabwah governorate.

The project builds upon the July–December 2020 IPC Acute Food Insecurity Analysis, issued in July 2020, by targeting different beneficiary groups which were identified as most food and nutrition insecure. These most vulnerable households will be provided with immediate agricultural livelihood support and nutrition training for improving their food security and nutritional status.

“With the generous support of KSrelief to the Yemen HRP 2020, FAO can increase access to food for highly vulnerable families across the country,” said Hussein Gadain, FAO Representative in Yemen. “We must remember that protecting livelihoods means protecting lives, and increasing agricultural production leads to increasing household income, improving livelihoods for those who badly need it,” Gadain added.

Towards a stronger partnership

The close partnership between KSrelief and FAO started five years ago, focusing on supporting crisis-hit Yemeni families, rapidly restoring their food production and increasing their access to highly nutritious foods.

Over the past five years, FAO significantly scaled up its assistance to Yemen with the support of KSrelief, reaching over 3 million of vulnerable Yemenis through a mixture of crop and vegetable seeds, fishing gear, poultry production kits, cash support, animal health campaigns, restocking and animal feed, as well as value chain development.

The Saudi- FAO ongoing partnership is providing support, restoring and enhancing the food security, nutrition and livelihoods of farmers, fishers and pastoralists reaching out to 202 797 agricultural sector beneficiaries, 2 850 911 animal health services sector beneficiaries and 92 960 fisheries sector beneficiaries. The provided support increased productivity amongst local communities and empowered conflict-affected households to reinforce resilience and restore their agricultural livelihoods.

Food Crisis in Yemen

The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis released in July warned of a perfect storm reverse hard-earned food security gains in Yemen.  The analysis forecasts an alarming increase of people facing high levels of acute food insecurity, i.e. in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) by the end of the year. 

Acute food insecurity in these areas eased last year thanks to a massive scale-up of humanitarian assistance but all the good work could quickly be undone as the number of people facing high levels of acute food insecurity is forecast to increase from 2 million to 3.2 million in the next few months.

An estimated 40 percent of the population (in July-December) could be suffering from high levels of acute food insecurity even if humanitarian food assistance and access to those in need are maintained. 




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