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Food and fuel imports needed to mitigate deteriorating food security outcomes

  • Key Message Update
  • Yemen
  • May 2015
Food and fuel imports needed to mitigate deteriorating food security outcomes

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Conflict has escalated since late March 2015, including a partial import blockade and bombing by a Saudi-led coalition, and advances by Al Houthi forces. This has exacerbated already high levels of acute food insecurity. From May 12th to May 17th, a negotiated “humanitarian pause” in the conflict took place, with only partial adherence by the different parties involved. Although humanitarian assistance was delivered during this time, it was less than what had been planned due to continued conflict and insecurity. The World Food Program (WFP) reported that it was able to dispatch food for 420,000 people in Aden, Lahij, Abyan, Ad Dali, Shabwah, Hajjah and northern parts of Sa’dah during the humanitarian pause, although it had planned to reach 738,000 people during this time. WFP has provided emergency food assistance to 1.5 million people since April 15th.

    • Fuel availability has improved somewhat since the 2nd week of May, but availability remains insufficient to meet demand. Fuel prices in most areas remain greatly elevated from February levels, and vary widely across the country. The average price of diesel in markets monitored by WFP was YER 704/liter, as compared to YER 150/liter in February. The highest prices were reported in Raymah Governorate, at YER 1,500/liter. Diesel is widely used for the transport of food to markets and to extract groundwater for various uses, including for human consumption. The stocking of fuel by purchasers is another factor putting upward pressure on prices. 

    • Wheat flour prices varied significantly across markets monitored. The highest prices were reported in Ma’rib, representing a 115 percent increase since the escalation of conflict. Governorates experiencing more than 50 percent increases in wheat flour prices during the conflict also include Abyan, Ad Dali, Aden, Al Bayda, Lahij, Raymah, and Sa’dah. During the final days of May, reports indicated that supply routes to Aden, Ad Dali and Ta’izz City were completely restricted. 

    • Major displacement was reported, especially in Ta’izz. UNHCR estimates that more than 500,000 people have been displaced within Yemen since March 27th. 

    • The ongoing conflict presents a rapidly changing environment for food and fuel availability and prices, as well as sources of income for poor households. Due to the continued impact of ongoing shocks, food security outcomes are likely to deteriorate over the coming months. Most areas of the country are expected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), with the most affected areas reaching Emergency (IPC Phase 4) if current trends in prices and income sources continue. 

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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