Food Coalition

Inputs from HiHi-FAO Yemen to the corporate umbrella programme for COVID-19 response

Yemen has been already facing the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, and the rapid spread of COVID-19 could have dire consequences not only on the health system, but also on food security.

Agriculture, Yemen’s main economic sector, has been crippled by the compounded effects of displacements, disease outbreaks and livelihood options. Further endangering agricultural livelihoods is the presence of pests, such as fall armyworm and desert locust. Vulnerable households’ assets are at near collapse and their coping mechanisms have almost been exhausted, leading to negative and extreme behaviors like selling land, productive assets and livestock, which greatly compromise food security at the household level.

Although imported and locally produced food products are available in markets –and all points of entry remain open– food prices are soaring. The national average cost of the minimum food basket (MFB) increased by 4% in May 2020 (averaged around USD 64) compared to the pre-COVID period of February 2020. Higher food prices, continuous depreciation of the local currency and lower incomes are limiting dietary diversity and may lead to severe food consumption gaps as the crisis continues.

The overlapping issues could compromise agricultural production and commercialization. In addition to COVID-19, torrential rains and flooding caused fatalities and injuries, and damaged buildings, infrastructure and services. As a result, crops and livelihoods were washed away, and irrigation systems destroyed, with implications for household income and agricultural production for the year.

FAO already took first steps in addressing the crisis, by producing weekly COVID-19 food chain monitoring bulletin, based on key informants data, market monitoring and relevant data collected by other UN agencies, which will continue through quarterly COVID-19 assessments.

Priority Areas of work: Other
SDG: 1. No Poverty, 2. Zero Hunger, 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth, 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities, 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
Level: Country
Country: Yemen
Budget: USD 350 000 to USD 500 000

Action Sheet:

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