more food needed to feed thousands of displaced in yemen
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today that improved security will allow food assistance to reach many more people in Yemen’s Sa’adah governorate, where conflict has displaced thousands.
The agency appealed for funds to make up a shortfall of US$3.3 million to feed 77,000 people until next March – more than double the number than in previous months.
“Thanks to the improved security situation, we are now able to feed many more people,” said WFP Yemen Country Director Mohamed El-Kouhene, adding that last September, WFP finally managed to feed people outside Sa'ada city, and was hopeful it could now reach thousands more.
Yemen’s Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Abdulkarim Al-Ar’habi said: “We appreciate that WFP will continue to provide food assistance in Sa’ada. We are also thankful that WFP will double the number of beneficiaries in the four coming months due to the continuous need.”
WFP began providing assistance to internally displaced people in June. The agency will continue to provide assistance to those who cannot meet their food needs, while the Yemeni Government will keep supporting the operation by providing security and logistics assistance.
Yemeni Government forces have been battling followers of a rebel movement led by Abdul-Malik al-Houthi on and off since 2004. The latest round of fighting, which flared in January 2007, destroyed the homes and assets of tens of thousands of people, causing many of them to flee to neighbouring areas.
Besides this operation, WFP has a US$47.8 million country programme (2007-2011) to reach about 1.6 million Yemenis. The programme aims to increase girls’ access to education and to improve the health and nutrition of malnourished children under five, pregnant and lactating women and tuberculosis and leprosy patients.
To date, the programme has received nearly US$6.7 million in donations. WFP also supplies food to over 33,000 Somali refugees in transit centres and in the Kharaz Refugee camp located in Lahj Governorate.
WFP has provided around US$400 million of food assistance to Yemen since 1967, when the country was split into North and South.
Contributors to the WFP emergency operation in Yemen include the United States (US$370,000) and Germany (US$144,000), with a further US$644,000 received in multilateral donations, including US$535,000 from Sweden.