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Conflict in the north continues to contribute to food insecurity

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Yemen
  • April 2014
Conflict in the north continues to contribute to food insecurity

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected outlook through June 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Security has relatively improved in Amran Governorate of North Yemen with no active conflict since 22 March. However, most of the displaced population has not returned to the governorate for fear of further violence. The displacement continues to affect their food security as they are not able to undertake their normal livelihoods activities.
    • The first-season, March-to-June rains were below average in the month of March in the western crop-producing parts of Yemen, leading to drier-than-normal vegetation conditions.
    • The updated seasonal forecast by the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) suggests higher-than-average land surface temperatures with little or no rainfall forecast for the next 2-3 months for the entire country.

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    Amran Governorate

    Displacement of about 15 percent of the population from Amran Governorate due to conflict.

     

    Northwestern coast

    Vegetation condition is below average in the dominantly cropping areas of western part of Yemen. 

    Rains are forecast to be below average for the remainder of the first season with hotter-th an-average surface temperature. This could lead to below average first season crop production and water shortages.

     


    Projected outlook through June 2014

    About 15 percent of the population (about 20,000 people) of Amran Governorate continue to be displaced. Although there is no active conflict in Amran currently, there is a fear that the current tensions could escalate to further violence, which is believed to be the main reason for displaced people to not return to Amran.  According OCHA’s Humanitarian, Issue 25 for the period March 6 to April 4, 2014, about half of the displaced people have received humanitarian assistance. The displacement continues to affect their food security as they are not able to undertake their normal livelihoods activities and about half of them are not receiving humanitarian assistance.

    The dominant cropping areas in Yemen are the densely-populated highland areas in the western part of the country.  First-season rains in these areas, including parts of Hajja, Al Mahwit, Dhamar, Raymah, Ibb, Al Dahle, Taiz, and Lehaj governorates, have been below average during the month of March, constituting a poor start-of-season. Vegetation condition anomalies also depict drier-than-normal conditions over these areas (Figure 1).  The updated seasonal forecast by the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) suggests higher-than-average land surface temperature with little or no rainfall forecast for the next 2-3 months for the entire country (Figure 2).  Poor households in this area cultivate small plots of land and therefore produce minimal amounts of food for consumption. The bulk of their food is sourced as payment in grain for working on better-off households’ farms. If the season performs as predicted, the first-season crop harvest will be below average, affecting poor households’ in-kind payment from better off households, and to a lesser extent, food from their own production.

    Although crop production is important as a source of food and income, most of the food consumed in Yemen is imported into the country. Therefore prices of staples and price of wage labor or small ruminants, which are important sources of income for the poor, are also very important determinants of food security. The terms of trade (labor- or sheep-to-wheat flour) were within normal ranges in March in most markets of Yemen according to FEWS NET’s Price Bulletin of Yemen for March, 2014.

    Continued insecurity in the north and continued effects of the conflict in 2011 have resulted in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity in Yemen. Crisis levels of food insecurity may persist after June, which is when the harvest is expected, if the seasonal forecast holds and first-season harvest falls far below average.
     

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1. Vegetation Anomaly, eMODIS/NDVI 6-15 April 2014

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. Vegetation Anomaly, eMODIS/NDVI 6-15 April 2014

    Source: USGS

    Figure 2.  Seasonal rainfall and temperature forecasts, May to July, 2014

    Figure 3

    Figure 2. Seasonal rainfall and temperature forecasts, May to July, 2014

    Source: ECMWF

    Figure 4

    Source:

    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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