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WFP Launches New Emergency Food Operation in Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saida Ahmad Baghili, 18, sits next to her relative at the al-Thawra hospital where she receives treatment for severe acute malnutrition in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, Yemen. (Reuters)

Sana’a – The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) announced on Wednesday that it is increasing its emergency food operations in Yemen to provide food assistance to up to 9 million people in one of the world’s worst hunger crises.

A statement by the WFP said the new emergency operation would cost up to US$1.2 billion over a one-year period and should allow the organization to gradually increase assistance to feed all severely food insecure people in Yemen every month.

The success of this operation depends on immediate sufficient resources from donors, the statement added.

“The situation is getting close to a breaking point in Yemen with unprecedented levels of hunger and food insecurity. Millions of people can no longer survive without urgent food assistance,” said Stephen Anderson, WFP Representative and Country Director in Yemen.

“We are in a race against time to save lives and prevent a full-scale famine unfolding in the country, but we urgently need resources to do this,” he added.

WFP also said that the new plan was aimed at providing vital food assistance to nearly seven million people classified as severely food insecure and nutrition support to prevent or treat malnutrition among 2.2 million children.

WFP will also assist breastfeeding and pregnant mothers with specialized nutritious foods, the statement noted.

The statement said that during April and May and until WFP can secure the funds that it needs, WFP will prioritize 6.7 million people for urgent food assistance.

The organization underlined that some 2.5 million of people – particularly those in governorates hardest-hit by food insecurity and at risk of slipping into famine – would receive a package of assistance aimed at averting famine.

This will include a full food ration, which will cover 100 percent of the food needs of every member of a family for a month, in addition to nutrition support for malnourished children and women, according to the statement published on the WFP website.

It added that a second priority group of 4.2 million people would receive a reduced food ration, which comprises 60 percent of the full food basket.