Ye­men food sur­vey finds ma­jor­ity in ‘dire’ cri­sis, famine a dan­ger

Iran Daily - - International -

Ye­men’s war and the en­su­ing eco­nomic col­lapse has left 15.9 mil­lion peo­ple, 53 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion, fac­ing “se­vere acute food in­se­cu­rity” and famine was a dan­ger if im­me­di­ate ac­tion was not taken, a sur­vey said on Satur­day.

The re­port was re­leased as the United Na­tions brought Ye­men’s war­ring sides to­gether for the first peace talks in two years. Hu­man­i­tar­ian groups say peace is the only way of end­ing the world’s largest hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis, Reuters re­ported.

A Saudi-led coali­tion has been locked in the stale­mated war since 2015 to un­der­mine the Houthi An­sarul­lah move­ment and re­in­state for­mer pres­i­dent Abd Rab­buh Man­sour Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

The in­va­sion has pushed the Arab world’s poor­est coun­try close to the brink of famine.

The war has killed over 15,000 civil­ians and sparked a cholera epi­demic and hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis.

While war was the main cause of the hunger cri­sis, it was ex­ac­er­bated by ex­tremely high food prices, a liq­uid­ity cri­sis, dis­rupted liveli­hoods, and high lev­els of un­em­ploy­ment, the re­port said, adding food aid was not enough to plug the gap.

“Im­me­di­ate re­sponses are re­quired to save lives and liveli­hoods of mil­lions not to slide to the next worse case which is famine,” it said.

The sur­vey was con­ducted by Ye­meni of­fi­cials and in­ter­na­tional ex­perts ac­cord­ing to the in­ter­na­tional IPC sys­tem, which uses a five point scale where 3 is “cri­sis”, 4 is “emer­gency” and 5 is “catas­tro­phe” and pos­si­bly famine.

The release of the re­port, which is based on a sur­vey com­pleted in Oc­to­ber, was de­layed sev­eral times with­out ex­pla­na­tion and is planned to be up­dated in March.

It showed many pock­ets of ex­treme hunger across Ye­men, con­cen­trated in ar­eas with ac­tive fight­ing, and es­pe­cially af­fect­ing the three mil­lion dis­placed peo­ple, their host fam­i­lies, land­less wage la­bor­ers and other marginal­ized groups.

The gov­er­norates of Hodeida, Amanat al-asimah, Dhamar, Ha­j­jah, Ibb and Taiz each had more than one mil­lion peo­ple in a cri­sis sit­u­a­tion or worse, and with­out hu­man­i­tar­ian aid 13 gov­er­norates would be in a food catas­tro­phe, the sur­vey showed.

The 15.9 mil­lion peo­ple in phases 3-5 could hit 20.1 mil­lion peo­ple, 67 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion, if there is not ad­e­quate food aid. The num­ber in “catas­tro­phe” would triple to 238,000.

Some of the fig­ures were re­leased by the UN on Thurs­day.

AP

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