Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty

Where we are

At one time, Yemen had made a progress in 2005 in which poverty declined form 401% (1998) to 34.8%, however, this could not be sustained and the impact of global financial, fuel and food crisis further contributed to the deterioration of the poverty situation to the pre-1998 levels. Moreover, the 2011 political and military crisis in Yemen as part of the Arab Spring devastated the social situation in the country and resulted in the increase of poor population to over 54% as is has been estimated by the Government of Yemen in the Joint Socio Economic Assessment Report of 2012. Hence, it is unlikely for the poverty headcount ration of 20.1% to be reached by 2015.

Similar like poverty indicator, percentage of population below national food poverty line decreased to 12.5% (2005) from 17.6% (1998). However, eradicating hunger indicator deteriorated as a result of the global financial, fuel and food crisis. Based on the WFP 2012 Comprehensive Food Security Survey, 22% of population (over five million people) were found to be severely food insecure and unable to produce or buy the food they need, which is the equivalence of 2,200 daily average of calories intake. The survey also disclose that another five million people is at the moderately food insecure and at risk of becoming severely food insecure in the face of lifting fuel subsidies in 2012, food prices increase and the consequences of the 2011 political and military strife in the country.

The combination of several and moderate food insecurity has exacerbated the hunger indicators further to the level of 10 million people, which represent almost 44.5% of the population of 2012. Malnourishment is also an indicator of food insecurity. In 2003 in the first MDG Report, 30% of under-five children were underweight compared to the international standards. This indicator was further deteriorated in 1998 and increased to 46% and slightly improved in 2005 to 42.9. However, due to the consequences of the global financial, fuel and food crisis, this particular underweight indicator for under-five children deteriorated further. As found in the 2012 WFP Comprehensive Food Security Survey (CFSS), nearly half of all children under-five years old in Yemen are chronically malnourished 47% and 13% suffer from acute malnutrition. With rates of chronic malnutrition this high, the physical and mental development of Yemeni children is severely at risk, a disadvantage from which they cannot recover. The situation is further exacerbated by high rates of acute malnutrition. At 13%, the situation in Yemen is, by WHO standards, in a serious phase. Moreover, report survey also disclose that wasting rates in some of the Governorates went as high as 28%, which is well beyond the WHO critical threshold of 15% and further corroborate findings from UNICEF. Children in these Governorates require immediate attention to address the critical situation they currently face.

Furthermore, the survey also indicated that anthropometric measurements for determining nutrition status, the CFSS interviewed mothers and caretakers of children to obtain information on feeding practices. The CFSS found a shockingly low 40% of children below six months were breastfed in the preceding 24 hours. In addition, only 32% of children 6-23 months are breastfed and consume at least one other food item. That low figure is of serious concern, as this is a critical age for the development of malnutrition. Almost 80% of children in Yemen do not consume the minimum dietary diversity recommended by WHO and UNICEF.

This concludes that the Republic of Yemen would not be able to attain this goal by 2015.

UNDP's work in Yemen

Women Painters do not only fight unemployment, they also challenge gender stereotypes Photo: YEEP
Women fight unemployment and shake gender stereotypes through painting

At the far corner of the rigid walls of the 7 of July Girls School, 17 young women with blue jackets painting diligently these walls.more 

Hajj Ahmed Sayed in his farm
Hajj Ahmad, one of hundreds of farmers benefited from the distribution of fertilizer and seeds supported by UNDP

Hajj Ahmad Sayed, 61 years old, was one of hundreds of farmers who benefited from the distribution of fertilizer and seeds, which was implemented by UNDP in late 2012 in northern governorate of Sa’ada, Yemen. more 

Ongoing projects

  • Youth Economic Empowerment Project

    The project aims to socially and economically empower disadvantaged youth and women in market oriented technical, entrepreneurial and managerial skills, confidence building and empowering skills necessary to improve their access to productive resources and sustainable earning potential. Training will be systematically linked and integrated with other complementary interventions such as access to markets, appropriate technology, microfinance, entrepreneurship development and follow up technical assistance and advisory services.more 

  • Community Driven Early Recovery in Sa'ada

    The Community Driven Early Recovery programme seeks to contribute to the Government of Yemen’s plans to stabilize the situation in Sa’ada and advance peace through initiating emergency action plans for reconstruction and recovery while at the same time laying the ground for a longer-term economic and social development agenda. more 

Yemen Status

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