Kuwait contributes $5 million to FAO to support emergency operations in Yemen

Agricultural support to help hungry families in world’s largest food security crisis

12 July 2018, Cairo/Geneva - The Government of Kuwait has contributed $5 million to FAO's work to deliver emergency agricultural interventions and improve food security and nutrition in Yemen which is facing the world's largest food security crisis.

The Kuwaiti funding in support of FAO's Emergency Livelihoods Response Plan for Yemen will help to provide assistance to some of the 8.4 million severely food insecure Yemenis.

In the governorates of Ibb and Lahij, family farmers will be supported through interventions such as rehabilitating irrigation canals, promoting traditional water harvesting techniques, engaging women and young people in water management, cash-for-work for vulnerable households, mitigating flood risks and supporting farmers to use their land for double rather than single crops.

"Kuwait's generous contribution is vital to building the resilience of rural communities in Yemen and will further strengthen the collaboration between FAO and Kuwait in addressing regional challenges," said FAO's Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative at the FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa in Cairo.

"This new agreement opens a new chapter in the relationship between the State of Kuwait and FAO," said Jamal Al-Ghunaim, Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait to the United Nations in Geneva. "We need to work closer together to accelerate humanitarian efforts towards the people of Yemen and other countries in crisis in the Near East region."

High displacement and malnutrition

The conflict in Yemen has escalated since March 2015, taking an enormous toll on the population and exacerbating existing vulnerabilities. The expansion of the conflict has also led to large-scale displacement and high rates of malnutrition.

Today some 75 percent (22.2 million people) of the country's total population of 29.3 million are in need of humanitarian assistance. 17.8 million Yemenis are food insecure, including 8.4 million who are severely food insecure.

"This contribution is very timely to help FAO boost its efforts to support the most vulnerable Yemeni communities to enhance their resilience and improve their food security and nutrition," said Rodrigue Vinet, Senior Humanitarian Officer and Officer in Charge of the FAO Liaison Office in Geneva.

The agriculture sector is among the worst hit by the current crisis and local food production has been severely compromised. The absence of veterinary services, coupled with scarcity and the high cost of drugs and animal feed has contributed to poor production.

FAO's response

In response, FAO developed the Emergency Livelihoods Response Plan which sets out key emergency agricultural livelihood interventions to be implemented within the framework of the 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP).

The overall goal is to improve food security and nutrition, alleviate rural poverty, and enhance Yemen's capacity to manage and respond to risks and threats in the agriculture sector through a resilience-based approach. The plan reflects FAO's strategic objective to strengthen livelihoods by helping countries to prepare for, manage and respond to threats and crises. 

Under the Emergency Livelihoods Response Plan, FAO requires $57.1 million to assist 5.7 million people in Yemen this year. So far, $42.5 million has been received.     

Photo: ©FAO/Soliman Ahmed
A farmer preparing land for planting as part of an FAO project in Yemen.