Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Yemen

Map of Yemen
Map of Yemen

December 7, 2018


  • In Yemen, an estimated 22.2 million people require humanitarian assistance in order to meet their basic needs, including 17.8 million people who require emergency food assistance, according to the UN.
  • Due to ongoing conflict, Yemen is the largest food security emergency in the world, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). FEWS NET reports that large populations across Yemen face Crisis (IPC 3) or Emergency (IPC 4) levels of food insecurity.* The poorest and most vulnerable families could experience Catastrophe (IPC 5) levels of acute food insecurity as they exhaust their coping capacities, such as selling assets or incurring debt to buy food.
  • Ongoing insecurity around Al Hudaydah and Al Saleef ports is a major threat to food security in Yemen, as these ports have traditionally supplied approximately 70 percent of Yemen’s monthly food requirements and 40–50 percent of the country’s fuel needs; FEWS NET warns that prolonged disruption of the ports’ operations would likely tip areas of the country into Famine (IPC 5) conditions. Additionally, deteriorating macroeconomic conditions—highlighted by the sharp devaluation of the national currency since July 2018—threaten to push millions of additional Yemenis into food insecurity, the UN reports.

*The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of acute food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal (IPC 1) to Famine (IPC 5). A Famine classification applies to a wider geographical location, while the term Catastrophe (IPC 5) refers to an extreme lack of food at the household level even with full employment of coping strategies. Famine is determined when more than 20 percent of households in an area are classified as experiencing Catastrophe, when the global acute malnutrition level exceeds 30 percent and when the crude mortality rate exceeds two people per 10,000 persons per day.   


  • In FY 2019, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) has contributed nearly $131 million to UN agencies and a non-governmental organization (NGO) implementing partner to provide emergency food assistance, including U.S.-sourced wheat, beans and vegetable oil, as well as food vouchers, for Yemen’s most vulnerable populations.
  • FFP contributions in FY 2018 included more than $327 million to support UN partners in Yemen, including the UN World Food Program (WFP). WFP aims to reach approximately 8 million of Yemen’s most severely food-insecure individuals monthly with in-kind food assistance and food vouchers countrywide.
  • FFP support also provides therapeutic nutritional products to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the treatment of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Yemen. Additionally, FFP supports the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as the lead coordinating body for the cluster of international organizations responding to food insecurity in Yemen.    

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2019 $130.9 million 143,580 MT
Fiscal Year 2018 $368.0 million 396,735 MT
Fiscal Year 2017 $349.1 million 374,430 MT

* Metric tonnage does not reflect funding for vouchers or cash transfers. 


Last updated: December 07, 2018

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