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High levels of food insecurity persist

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Yemen
  • October 2013
High levels of food insecurity persist

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook Through December 2013
  • Key Messages
    • The World Food Program’s (WFP) Food Security Monitoring Survey for June-August 2013 concludes that food security is generally better than 2011, when conflict significantly disrupted food access. Contrary to the national trend, food security in some parts of the South, particularly Abyan and neighboring Shabwa, were worse in June 2013 than in 2011. 

    • Food insecurity as observed in 2013 in Yemen is predominantly chronic in nature, though the impacts of sporadic conflict remain a key driver of acute food insecurity. Populations of greatest concern include the displaced or recently returned. 

    • Desert locusts are expected to begin to move westward to the main cropping areas of the coastal plains along the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea in the coming months.




    Central and eastern wadis and Red Sea coast

    • Control operations are limited by insecurity. A few small bands and swarms are likely to form, particularly in eastern Al Jawf, Marib, Shabwah, and Hadhramaut, including the Thamaud plateau. Swarms likely to move West and North toward the Red Sea coast.

    Projected Outlook Through December 2013

    WFP released its Updated Food Security Monitoring Survey of Yemen conducted between June and August 2013. FEWS NET’s interpretation of the report is that while acute food insecurity either remained relatively stable or improved significantly (except in Abyan and Shabwa), there was not a comparable reduction in the number of people who are chronically food insecure.

    The areas of greatest concern with respect to increasing acute food insecurity would be those where the proportion of households with food consumption scores below 28 (“severely” food insecure according to WFP) increased significantly, which are: Abyan, Lahej, and Shabwa (Figure 2). In addition, the coping strategies index increased dramatically in these three governorates (Figure 3).

    The June assessments reflect food security outcomes at a time considered during or immediately on the heels of the lean season. Since then, first season harvests have been reaped; main, second-season rains improved access to water; and second-season harvests are beginning. In addition, the Eid season increased demand for goats and sheep in September and October, increasing or maintaining high levels of terms of trade for cereals. As a result of these seasonal changes, FEWS NET expects food security outcomes in October to be better than those reflected in the June assessment. Though humanitarian access is sub-optimal due to sporadic insecurity, partners are active in these areas of concern; large assistance programs took place in 2013 and are expected to continue into 2014.  

    Satellite images suggest that vegetation conditions are above average at the conclusion of the second season. FAO’s forecast of above-average harvests in 2013 is likely. Desert locusts, which have been breeding in the interior of Yemen, are expected to move westward and northward to the coastal plains along the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea as vegetation dries up following the cessation of the rains. Some damage to late-harvested second-season crops, particularly in the lowlands, is possible.

    Figures Proportion of households with food consumption scores of 28 or below in 2013 compared to 2011.

    Figure 1

    Proportion of households with food consumption scores of 28 or below in 2013 compared to 2011.

    Source: WFP

    Coping strategies index in 2013 compared to 2011

    Figure 2

    Coping strategies index in 2013 compared to 2011

    Source: WFP

    Figure 2


    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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