Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Yemen

June 30, 2014

Food Security Situation 

Map of Yemen
CIA World Factbook
  • Yemen is currently the poorest nation in the Arab region and ranks as the 7th most food-insecure country in the world. Of its population of 25.2 million, 42% are considered food insecure, with half of those being considered severely food insecure. Additionally, 47% of children under five are stunted and 13% of children under 5 are wasted. Political instability, internal conflict, diminishing resources, a breakdown of social services, rising poverty, high food prices and poor child feeding practices contribute to the widespread vulnerability of households and communities.

  • The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Yemen remains high at 306,614. Some 241,288 refugees remain in Yemen, most coming from neighboring Ethiopia and Somalia. Additionally, approximately 400,000 Yemenis have been expelled from Saudi Arabia due to changes in labor laws, with another 400,000 projected to return home in the months ahead. 

  • Yemen depends heavily on imports to meet its cereal needs. On average, imports make up nearly 95 percent of Yemen’s wheat, rice and maize supply. Despite above average cereal production in 2013, overall production levels will fall drastically short of meeting countrywide needs, further continuing Yemen’s dependence on cereal imports.

Food Assistance Programs

  • Over the past few years, USAID's Office of Food for Peace (FFP) has been the largest contributor of emergency food assistance to Yemen. In FY 2014 to date, FFP has provided the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) with 21,880 MT of in-kind wheat valued at $14.8 million – enough to feed nearly 1.2 million food insecure Yemenis.

  • In addition to providing emergency food assistance, in September of 2013, FFP partnered with Mercy Corps, Global Communities and Save the Children to build the resilience of more than 378,000 food-insecure individuals in Al Dhale'e, Dhamar, Ibb, Lahj, Raymah, Sana’a and Taizz Governorates through food-voucher for assets programs complementing USAID development investments in health, nutrition and agricultural livelihoods. These three-year programs bolster USAID/Yemen’s efforts to build resilience and strengthen livelihoods of Yemenis in these seven Governorates.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2014 $14.8 million 21,880 MT
Fiscal Year 2013 $75.0 million 56,320 MT
Fiscal Year 2012 $70.3 million 55,290 MT
Fiscal Year 2011 $25.0 million 18,990 MT
Fiscal Year 2010 $12.7 million 13,880 MT

Fiscal Year 2014 Contribution Breakdown:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Title II Development ---- ----
Title II Emergency $14.8 milliion 21,880 MT
Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) ---- ----

Note: MT: Metric Ton; EFSP: Emergency Food Security Program. Food security situation provided by WFP, OCHA, UNHCR and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization as of June 2014; Refugee information provided by UNHCR as of June 2014. FY 2014 contribution based on funds obligated as of June 2014.

To see how FFP and WFP are working togethor to fight food insecurity in Yemen, click on the link to WFP's new video here.

Last updated: June 03, 2016

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