Key Message Update

COVID-19 caseload increases while food import levels remain low in April

May 2020

May 2020

This map of Yemen shows most of the country in Phase 3 (Crisis), with the exception of Sa'dah and Hajjah in Phase 4 (Emergency) and Hadhramaut and Al Mahrah in Phase 2 (Stressed). Hadhramaut and many western governorates in Crisis are mapped with "!"s, indicating that outcomes would likely be at least one phase worse in the absence of humanitarian assistance.

June - September 2020

This map of Yemen shows most of the country in Phase 3 (Crisis), with Sa'dah, Hajjah, Amran, Al Mahwit, and Al Bayda in Phase 4 (Emergency) and Al Mahrah in Phase 2 (Stressed). Many western governorates in Crisis are mapped with "!"s, indicating that outcomes would likely be at least one phase worse in the absence of humanitarian assistance.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Not mapped
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Not mapped
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
Not mapped
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • In Yemen, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes prevail in many areas in the presence of large-scale humanitarian food assistance. In the coming months, deteriorating macroeconomic conditions and impacts of COVID-19 are expected to further increase food prices, disrupt livelihoods, and restrict access to income. Due to these factors and the impact of cuts to humanitarian assistance in northern Houthi-controlled areas, an increasing number of people are expected to deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3), Emergency (IPC Phase 4), and Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). A risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) persists and would be possible if the country’s capacity to import food is severely limited or if food supplies to particular areas are restricted for a prolonged period of time.

  • As of May 27, 249 cases of COVID-19 and 49 deaths have been reported in Yemen, though experts estimate that the true number of cases is much higher. Amidst reports of rapid and undetected spread of the virus in Yemen, direct impacts of COVID-19 on food security for some households – including illness and death of family members who typically earn income as well as increasing health costs –  are of concern. Meanwhile, indirect impacts on food security including through trade and supply chain disruptions, increased food prices, and reduced access to income, remain of concern for a greater number of households.

  • According to FAO, demand for casual labor and agricultural labor has decreased in recent weeks due to both Ramadan and impacts of COVID-19. Furthermore, according to FAO, livestock producers in Al Hudaydah, Al Jawf, and Hajjah are reportedly selling atypically high numbers of animals as a precaution against potential COVID-19 impacts, despite reduced demand and below-average prices. In the coming months, localized and temporary increases in control measures are expected in areas where higher numbers of cases are suspected, with disruptions to trade and access to food and income possible. As a result of these disruptions, declining access to income and upward pressure on food prices due largely to increased transport costs are expected to further constrain access to food for many households.

  • According to FAO market monitoring, imported food commodities remained broadly available in the first week of May. However, some disruptions to supply chains of locally produced foods are reportedly resulting in postharvest losses. According to FAO and UNVIM, food import levels through Yemen’s main seaports in April were similar to the low monthly totals observed throughout 2020. Meanwhile, the price of imported wheat flour has remained broadly stable in recent weeks, though the price of cooking oil and sugar have continued to increase. In early May, the cost of the minimum food basket increased by 36 percent in Sana’a City, 12 percent in Lahij, 10 percent in Ta’izz, and 10 percent in Socotra.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
Learn more About Us.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics