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Fuel supply increases in northern areas, while shortages persist in Aden

  • Key Message Update
  • Yemen
  • November 2020
Fuel supply increases in northern areas, while shortages persist in Aden

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Protracted conflict and poor macroeconomic conditions in Yemen continue to disrupt livelihoods, reduce access to income, and drive significantly above-average food prices. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are widespread, with Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes expected to emerge in worst-affected governorates in the February to May 2021 period. Although not the most likely scenario, Famine (IPC Phase 5) would be possible if food supply is cut off for a prolonged period of time.

    • According to FAO, the monthly average exchange rate remained generally stable from September to October 2020, both at the national level and at local levels, with the exchange rate increasing by less than 3 percent in most governorates of Yemen. However, greater depreciation was recorded in Shabwah (7 percent) and Socotra (11 percent) where the price of staple wheat flour also increased, by 12 and 25 percent, respectively, in the same time period. According to FAO data, purchasing power in October as measured by terms-of-trade between wheat flour and wages (casual labor and agricultural labor) were worst in Amran, Sana’a, Abyan, and Hajjah.

    • According to FAO, the monthly average prices of diesel and petrol increased by 7 and 23 percent, respectively, from September to October at the national level. However, northern authorities announced the clearance of four fuel ships in late October, and a total 187,788 tons of fuel were unloaded at the Red Sea Ports during the month of October according to data from UNVIM—similar to monthly import levels in early 2020 before the fuel crisis. In early November, an additional three ships were reportedly cleared to unload. Despite this, fuel continues to be rationed in northern areas according to news reports in late November. Meanwhile, key informants report that fuel shortages continued to intensify in Aden as of mid- to late-November. According to FAO, fuel shortages are increasing prices of food and agricultural inputs due to increased transport costs.

    • As of November 30, a total 2,099 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Yemen, with 1,448 recoveries and 608 associated deaths. Though only 36 new cases were reported in the month of November, official figures are expected to significantly underestimate the number of infections due to severely limited testing capacity. Some concern exists about the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19, which would negatively impact food security both directly—by reducing household members’ ability to work and increasing health costs—and indirectly, given disruptions to livelihood activities in urban areas which would limit access to income. If people become concerned about the possibility of being infected, this may deter households from seeking treatment at medical facilities including for acute malnutrition, as occurred during the time of peak COVID-19 concern earlier this year according to the Nutrition Cluster.

    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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