24 Apr 2017
Auke Lootsma, CO Director Yemen
It will take far more than emergency aid to address one of the worst food and humanitarian emergencies in recent memory. Photo: UNDP
At pledging conference, donors must stand and deliver.
Fragile, impoverished Yemen already ranked among the world’s poorest countries when political transition erupted into all-out war two years ago. To make things worse, the country is also suffering the largest food security crisis worldwide. It will take far more than emergency aid to address one of the worst food and humanitarian emergencies in recent memory.
Yemen’s deepening crisis has reversed decades of hard-won development gains, with civilians paying an appalling price. Five years ago, for example, as a result of UNDP’s de-mining efforts, the country was nearly mine-free. Now, all 22 governorates are littered with explosives, in some cases severely. More than 3.3 million people have been displaced, 10,000 killed, and 40,000 injured in the ongoing conflict.
Yemen has historically imported 90 percent of its food, overwhelmingly through the embattled port of Hodeidah. With ports, roads, bridges, and other basic infrastructure badly damaged - and in some cases blockaded - and domestic agriculture disrupted, Yemenis are now on the brink of an avoidable famine.
Some 17 million people now don’t know where they might find their next meal and 6.8 million face life-threatening malnutrition—in a country of only 27 million, mostly younger …