Yemen: Food security outlook to worsen in first half; malnutrition rising -WFP

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Yemeni girl getting aid from WFP

The food security outlook in Yemen for the first half of 2013 is slightly worse than in 2012 as the causes of food insecurity will likely persist in 2013, aggravated by the impact of poor prospects for local agricultural production, which is estimated to be about 8 percent lower than 2012 and 10 percent below the last five year average.

The main causes of current food insecurity in Yemen continue to include limited sources of income for the urban poor, fragile livelihood systems in rural areas, volatility of international food prices, and internal conflicts.

According to the World Food Programme (WFP) in its latest Food Security Monitoring System (FSMS) report, specific sector agencies need to intensify their humanitarian interventions in the most affected governorates of Yemen where food insecurity and malnutrition levels have deteriorated.

Food security levels – determined by food consumption scores and a coping strategies index – have remained the same or slightly improved in 2012 compared to the previous year. The total percentage of severely food-insecure households declined from 31 percent in 2011 to 27 percent in 2012 for the 11 governorates covered by the Food Security Monitoring System.

The overall slight improvement in food security was mainly due to a combination of continued humanitarian assistance, lower food prices in 2012 compared to 2011, and increased use of credit by households to purchase food.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

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