A new United Nations survey today 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.
“What this shows is that almost one quarter of the Yemeni population needs emergency food assistance now.” -Lubna Alaman, World Food Programme (WFP) Representative in the country
The WFP food security survey was produced in collaboration with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Yemeni Central Statistical Organisation (CSO).
The Survey cites that a further five million people are at risk of becoming severely food insecure as they face rising food prices and conflict.
In urban areas, where civil unrest has hit hardest, more than a quarter of households said insecurity had reduced their ability to buy food.
WFP 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.
The survey also underlined that chronic malnutrition among children is of serious concern. In Al Mahweet, an estimated 63.5 per cent of the children are suffering from stunted growth.
The survey was conducted during November and December last year. Almost 8,000 households were interviewed in 19 out of 21 governorates, and examined the nutritional and food consumption status of more than 11,000 children and about 10,000 mothers between the ages of 15 and 49.
It is estimated that the recent political turmoil in Yemen, part of a wave of protests across the Middle East and North Africa calling for social, economic and democratic reforms, has led to more than 82 deaths and hundreds of injuries.