Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Yemen

Map of Yemen
Map of Yemen

March 15, 2019


  • Due to conflict and economic crisis, Yemen is the largest food security emergency in the world. Nearly 16 million people—approximately 53 percent of Yemen’s population—face Crisis (IPC 3) or worse conditions countrywide, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC).* An end to the conflict is the only solution to the root issues driving food insecurity in Yemen, according to international relief actors.
  • In December 2018, the IPC identified more than 63,000 people in eight governorates experiencing Catastrophe (IPC 5) conditions and at risk of death from starvation. Food insecurity is most severe in areas with active fighting, and internally displaced persons, host families, marginalized groups and landless wage laborers with limited access to work and services are among the most vulnerable populations. 
  • While ongoing humanitarian assistance prevents millions more people from experiencing worse levels of food insecurity, famine remains a credible threat in Yemen in 2019. According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), the risk of famine would be particularly high if operations at the country’s critical portsare disrupted for a prolonged period. Additionally, FEWS NET predicts macroeconomic conditions will continue to deteriorate through May 2019, limiting household access to food.

*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.   


  • USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) funding enables UN agency and non-governmental organization (NGO) implementing partners to provide emergency food assistance, including U.S.-sourced wheat, beans and vegetable oil—as well as food vouchers to access food through local vendors—for Yemen’s most vulnerable populations.
  • FFP support also provides ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) 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.
  • FFP contributions in Fiscal Year 2019 to date include nearly $119 million to the UN World Food Program (WFP). WFP aims to reach approximately 10 million of Yemen’s most severely food-insecure individuals monthly with in-kind food assistance and food vouchers. In response to increasing needs, WFP is scaling up operations in 2019 to reach Yemen’s most food-insecure populations countrywide.

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: March 15, 2019

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