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Conflict in the north continues to contribute to food insecurity

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

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Insecurity in Amran Governorate of North Yemen continues to affect food security as about 15 percent of the population is displaced due to conflict.
    • The desert locust infestation that began in June 2013 remained active in February on the Red Sea coasts. The infestation is expected to decline in the coming weeks and months because of control measures and unfavorable weather.
    • Near average rainfall is forecast for much of Yemen, with increased likelihood for average to wetter-than-normal conditions in the key cropping, coastal areas of western Yemen during the March-to-June first-season rains.





    Amran Governorate

    Displacement of 60,000-70,000 people from Amran due to conflict.



    Northwestern coast

    The desert locust invasion caused substantial, if possibly localized, damage to sorghum, millet, and sesame.

    Locust infestations are expected to decline because of the unfavorable ecological conditions and control interventions.


    Violent conflict has displaced thousands of people from Amran governorate since October 2013. As much as 15 percent of the population of Amran (70,000 people) are estimated to be displaced. Further displacement has declined following the signing of a truce on February 6, 2014 by the conflicting parties, but those already displaced have not yet returned.

    The displaced populations do not have access to their regular sources of food and income and heavily rely on external assistance to obtain food. Continued insecurity in the governorate delays the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the displaced according to OCHA’s Yemen Humanitarian Bulletin of February 8 to March 5, 2014.

    According to OFDA’s Emergency Trans boundary Outbreak Pest (ETOP) situation report of March, with a forecast till mid-April 2014, desert locusts remained active on the Red Sea coast in February. It also stated that vegetation is dry in most of the locust habitat making the ecological condition not unfavorable for locust breeding (Figure 1). In addition, there are reports of aggressive control measures therefore locust infestations are expected to decline. This is expected to be beneficial for the first season crop planting and germination which starts in March.

    The past month has been seasonably dry, apart from isolated light-to-moderate rains over southern and western areas of Yemen.  Meanwhile, near-average rainfall performance is forecast for much of Yemen, with increased likelihood for average to wetter-than-normal conditions over western coastal areas of Yemen, according to European Centre for Medium-Range Weather (ECNWF) (Figure 2). The livelihood along the western coastal area is dominantly the Western and Central Wadi Sorghum, Millet, Vegetable, Fruit and Livestock Zone. Households in this zone depend on the production of grains, fruits , vegetables, and livestock production. The first season rains are the main seasonal rains used for both livestock and crop production. If rains perform as predicted, it could result in average agricultural wage labor income for poor households during the production season, as well as to average crop production contributing to improvement in food security with the start of the harvest in June/July.

    Terms of trade (labor- or sheep-to-wheat flour) were within normal ranges in February 2013.

    Insecurity in the north, the locust in infestation in the northwestern coast and the 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 are expected to persist in Yemen until the first season harvest begins in June. 

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1. Vegetation Anomaly, eMODIS/NDVI 1-10 March, 2014

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. Vegetation Anomaly, eMODIS/NDVI 1-10 March, 2014


    Figure 2. Seasonal Forecast, April to June 2014

    Figure 3

    Figure 2. Seasonal Forecast, April to June 2014


    Figure 4


    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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