YEMEN: Food Security and Nutrition Snapshot
The acute food insecurity and malnutrition situation in Yemen has deteriorated further in 2022, with 17.4 million people (IPC Phase 3 and above) in need of assistance as of now, increasing to 19 million starting in June to the end of the year. Of greatest concern is the 31,000 people facing extreme hunger levels (IPC Phase 5 Catastrophe) now, rising to 161,000 by June. In addition, approximately 2.2 million children under the age of five, including 538,000 severely malnourished, and about 1.3 million pregnant and lactating women are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition over the course of 2022. The severity increases dramatically in the projection period for both food insecurity and acute malnutrition, with 86 districts moving to higher IPC Phases, 82 of which move from Phase 3 to Phase 4.
Conflict and economic crisis remain the main drivers of acute food insecurity and malnutrition in Yemen, further exacerbated by the instability of humanitarian assistance. The outlook for 2022 indicates that both features will continue, with a likelihood of further escalation of fighting in critical hotspots, thereby leading to further displacement. In addition, as a result of the protracted conflict, access to public services has been brought to a near-halt resulting in delays/cuts of salaries, poor access to health services, inadequate access to water, and other services such as education, energy, etc. remain severely compromised.
At the household level, primary underlying causes of acute food insecurity and malnutrition include increased food prices amidst reduced incomes and labour opportunities, contributing to poor diet in terms of quantity and quality, as well as low coverage of sanitation facilities and poor hygiene practices, which have led to a high disease burden. As the economic crisis rages, more households are coping through erosion of their livelihoods (such as the sale of productive assets) and the adoption of crisis strategies (mainly a high reliance on assistance). Furthermore, households are increasingly experiencing a vicious debt cycle. They are taking on higher debt levels every month and maxing out their credit levels to cover basic needs. With such levels of negative coping strategies, many households are precariously exposed, and any sudden shocks at unprecedented levels would further worsen food insecurity and acute malnutrition to extreme levels.
Due to insufficient evidence and unclear population figures, two districts in Hajjah, Midi and Haradh, are not classified. The IPC Technical Working Group (TWG), the Global Support Unit (GSU) and the Famine Review Committee (FRC) advocate for immediate unimpeded access to these areas to conduct an assessment to determine the levels of food and nutrition insecurity