Nearly 25% Of Yemenis Face Severe Hunger, Preliminary WFP Survey Finds

“Almost five million Yemenis are unable to produce or buy the food they need, according to preliminary findings of a United Nations survey,” the U.N. News Centre reports (3/14). A World Food Programme (WFP) “survey on food security among 8,000 households in 19 of the country’s 21 governorates concluded that approximately five million people — about 22 percent of the population — are facing severe hunger, double the 2009 number and above the threshold at which food aid is required,” the Guardian reports (Ford, 3/14). The survey, “which was produced in collaboration with the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Yemeni Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), also found that a further five million people are at risk of becoming severely food insecure as they face rising food prices and conflict,” the U.N. News Centre notes (3/14).

“Deadly anti-regime protests swept Yemen last year, finally forcing president Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down in February after 33 years in power,” Agence France-Presse writes. “WFP says it has increased its humanitarian assistance in 2012 to feed 3.6 million people affected by rising prices and the conflicts across the country that are estimated to have displaced around 670,000 Yemenis,” the news agency writes, adding, “The survey’s final report, which comes out next month, will include details on malnutrition rates in Yemen, which [a] statement described as ‘alarming'” (3/14).