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Below-average rains to date in most cropping areas in the West

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Yemen
  • April 2013
Below-average rains to date in most cropping areas in the West

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through June 2013
  • Key Messages
    • First season rains have been below average to date in western cropping areas. Rainfall is above average in wadi cultivation and pastoral areas of the center and East. 

    • More than 40 percent of poor households have poor food consumption in Sana’a and Al-Baidah, despite favorable labor-to-cereal terms of trade.

    ZONECURRENT ANOMALIESPROJECTED ANOMALIES
    Aden and the South
    • Despite a formal cessation of hostilities, insecurity prevails in the South. 
     
    Western Yemen
    • The locust outbreak in Egypt and Saudi Arabia has contributed to some unusual locust breeding in western Yemen.
    • Locust prevalence may be above average in 2013.

     


    Projected Outlook through June 2013

    A very high proportion of food is imported to Yemen and most Yemenis purchase 75-95 percent of their food from the market. Most poor households obtain their income from casual labor to purchase food. Staple prices and casual wage labor prices remain relatively stable. According to WFP’s Yemen Monthly Market Watch Report of February 2013, the price of wheat flour per kilogram was 140 Yemeni Rials while casual labor wage per day was 2000 in Sanaa in February (>14 kg wheat flour/day labor). The terms of trade between causal labor and wheat flour, the staple food in Yemen, declined slightly in February compared to that of January 2013, and rose slightly in March 2013. Further increases in staple prices are anticipated as the lean season advances (March to June) particularly in May and July before the first season harvest begins in July. Terms of trade are expected to improve with increased labor demand beginning in June/July as the harvest approaches. 

    Western Yemen

    Unfortunately, after an aggressive start in late March, rainfall has been below average in the western agricultural areas (Figure 2). The western highlands, particularly Hajah, Dhamar, and southward still show belowaverage vegetation conditions for the start of the season (Figure 3).

    The rainfall forecast for the coming two weeks indicates that rains are expected to continue over the western part of the country. Continued rain over the western part of the country through the end of the rainy season in June will improve vegetation conditions and lead to good crop performance. According to the forecasts from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), rains are forecast to be near average through the end of the rainy season in June. The locust outbreak in Egypt and Saudi Arabia has contributed to some unusual breeding in western Yemen. Spring desert locust breeding is likely to be above average in localized areas. Though the risk of infestation is slightly above average, a major outbreak is not considered part of the most likely scenario. Close monitoring, however, will be required, according to OFDA’s Emergency Trans-boundary Outbreak Pest (ETOP) Situation Report of March 2013

    Central and eastern wadi and pastoral areas

    Performance of the first season rains (March to June) has been average to above average over the pastoral and wadi cultivation areas of eastern and central Yemen. Rain is unlikely to continue over the eastern and coastal pastoral areas.

    Immigration

    According to OCHA, about 349,000 IDPs remain in Yemen and are primarily in the northern parts of the country. These people were displaced due to the ongoing conflict and cannot return home due to the threat of landmines, massive destruction to infrastructure and lack of access to basic services. About 180,000 returnees are registered, mostly in the southern parts of the country, having returned home after the 2012 conflict. In addition, refugees, asylum seekers and migrants continue to arrive in Yemen mainly from Ethiopia and Somalia. In 2012, there were about 107,000 new arrivals. Over 17,000 have crossed this year. The number of new arrivals has declined this year compared to same time last year, the first decline since prior to the 2011 famine. According to OCHA, 25,000 migrants or asylum seekers from Ethiopia and Somalia are in Hajjah Governorate without assistance. Humanitarian agencies have reduced assistance to new arrivals in 2013 because of funding shortages. 

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Rainfall anomaly, percent of normal, March 17 to April 15, 2013

    Figure 2

    Rainfall anomaly, percent of normal, March 17 to April 15, 2013

    Source: USGS

    Vegetation anomaly, April 6 to 15, 2013

    Figure 3

    Vegetation anomaly, April 6 to 15, 2013

    Source: USGS

    Rainfall forecast for April 17-24 , 2013

    Figure 4

    Rainfall forecast for April 17-24 , 2013

    Source: USGS

    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

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