With ten million Yemenis facing food insecurity, the United States of America tody expressed commitment on providing lifesaving humanitarian assistance to those in need in Yemen.
At a special briefing on Yemen at DC today, USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance Christa Capozzola the continued conflicts have exacerbated an already serious humanitarian situation in Yemen.
She cites that rising food prices, widespread displacement, and unemployment have contributed to significantly higher malnutrition levels throughout the country over the last couple of years.
“Ten million people in Yemen are now food insecure. That means that more than 40 percent of the population does not have reliable access to food.” -Ms. Capozzola
According to Ms. Copozzola, of those 10 million, 1 million children under five are suffering from acute malnutrition.
In the face of this worsening situation, the United States is focused on providing lifesaving humanitarian assistance to those in need in Yemen, she stressed.
The United States is addressing the needs in a way that helps build resilience and stability.
To date in this fiscal year, the United States is providing over 73 million in humanitarian assistance to those affected by the conflict, she reported.
The assistance includes over 47 million in emergency food assistance, she added.
The assistance that the US government is providing includes things like 37,000 metric tons of wheat and other food items where over $11 million for food vouchers will allow people to purchase food in local markets.
Ms. Capozzola indicates that the US governement also lauched supplementary nutrition programs to help those suffering from the worst forms of malnutrition; mobile medical clinics and emergency supplies; clean water, sanitation, and hygiene programs that help prevent disease outbreaks; and livelihoods programs that help people get back on their feet and jumpstart the struggling economy.
“Something as simple as providing a temporary job to help rebuild community water systems or helping to restore assets like livestock can put enough money in a family’s pocket to get them through a tough time.” -Ms. Capozzola
She cites that these livelihoods programs also help build community assets for the longer term and stabilize the economy.
The US government is working to help families get through the crisis, but also to build long-term resilience, she cited.
She notes that the United States continues to urge other donors to support the international humanitarian organizations working to provide lifesaving assistance in Yemen.
“Addressing these urgent needs of the Yemeni people is an important foundation for the sustainable economic and political development that Yemenis are working hard to achieve right now.” -Ms. Capozzola
Reports say the humanitarian situation in Yemen is one of the worst in the world.
The UN estimates that there are over 550,000 displaced Yemeni in urgent need of humanitarian assistance as well as the communities that are hosting them.
In addition, humanitarian organizations need safe access to reach those in need, save lives, and alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people and others in need.
Recently, there are an additional 215,000 refugees, many of whom are from Somalia. Reports also indicates that the country is also contending with an increasing influx of vulnerable migrants, mainly from the Horn of Africa, who arrive in need of substantial assistance, straining Yemeni communities.
The Yemen Government is continuing to support 200,000 Somali refugees as well.
On March this year, A new United Nations survey revealed that hunger is on the increase in Yemen.
Rising food prices combined with conflict are also worsening the living condition on many families.
The Survey reports that almost five million Yemenis are unable to produce or buy the food they need.
The number of people experiencing severe food insecurity has nearly doubled since 2009, UN Survey noted.
World Food Programme is preparing to feed 3.5 million vulnerable people in Yemen in 2012. This includes people who have been pushed into hunger in the wake of sharp hikes in food prices and displacement in the northern and the southern regions of the country.
The agency is especially prioritizing 1.8 million severely food insecure Yemenis living in the poorest 14 governorates. The estimated total cost of the food assistance is $207 million.
WFP’s efforts in the country have received a boost with a $31 million contribution from Germany. The contribution is the largest donation that WFP has ever received from Germany for Yemen in one year and one of the highest ever worldwide.