Growing concerns about food security in Yemen
Yemen is one of the countries that suffer from the problem of food provisions in the Arab world because of its heavy reliance on food imports. Yemen is severely affected by the growing global food prices. In addition, Yemenis are worried about the crisis in the markets of food and consumer goods in light of the deepening political crisis and the continuing protests and demonstrations.
The World Food Program of the United Nations has recently conducted a rapid assessment of food security in the poorest provinces of Yemen and found that 24% of households have low food consumption, in addition to the fact that 35% are living near the previous ratio.
The draft of the National Strategy for Food Security prepared by the Government in cooperation with the International Institute for Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington showed that 32.1% of Yemen’s population is food insecure, which means that about one third of the Yemeni or 7.5 million people suffer from hunger, and 57.9% of all children suffer from malnutrition, which hinder the future development of society and economy of Yemen.
The Yemeni government said it has a strategic stock of food sufficient to cover the needs of Yemenis for six to eight months to come. The Yemen Economic Corporation (YECO) confirmed that it is keen to provide the needs of Yemeni citizens of different food items, and at fixed prices through exhibitions open over the various governorates of Yemen. Also, it has confirmed that its transport fleet of food has been subject to looting by outlaws to impede its role of securing the market’s needs of food, as well as domestic gas.
The Assistant Director of the Yemeni Economic Corporation, Mohammad Abdul Jabbar, showed that the institution was exposed to constant interruptions and attacks by subversive elements, especially on the road to Sana’a which caused a crisis in basic commodities especially in the cooking gas.
According to economic data, Yemen suffers from the problem of food dependency on import at a time the country productions does not satisfy more than 15% of the requirement. According to an economic study prepared by Dr. Speer Harazi, Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Sanaa, cereal production in Yemen is one of the most important strategic issues which highlights the challenges facing the country which is one of the national requirements. He pointed out that the total production of cereal is characterized by continued volatility from year to another where it reached in 2008 about 714 000 tons, thus showing an increase of about 68 thousand tons, or about 10 percent compared to 1997 which is equivalent to 658 000 tons.
The aim of the national strategy for food security is: (1) finding sustainable solutions to secure the citizens needs of food, (2) providing a comprehensive analysis of the current situation of food security in Yemen, (3) determining the major challenges, in addition to (4) establishing an executive plan that includes seven priorities to be carried out to ensure the successful implementation of the national strategy for food security. If the implementation of these seven axes is successfully executed, Yemen will reach the objective of food security and become a country of a secure food supply by the year 2020. Source: yallafinance.com.