Yemen IPC press statement
21 July, 2020 – As the UN releases a report on hunger levels in the south of Yemen, DEC member charity CARE is concerned about frontline areas particularly in the north of the country where data is not available. People in conflict-affected and hard-to-reach areas, as well as those who have been internally displaced, are at a higher risk of hunger and malnutrition. Worsening food security as a result of COVID-19 could mean a return to catastrophic famine conditions last seen just eighteen months ago.
To support DEC’s work supporting people fleeing conflict to cope with the Covid-19 crisis: www.dec.org.uk
Notes to editors
According to the UN’s 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan, 20.1 million people are in need of food security and agriculture assistance; a total of 7.4 million people are in need of nutrition assistance, including 2.1 million children and 1.2 million pregnant and breastfeeding women suffering from moderate or severe malnutrition. For the past 18 months (since November 2018) the country has been on the brink of famine.
Officially reported cases of COVID-19 in Yemen have reached over 1600, with almost 450 deaths, though these are widely acknowledged to be a fraction of the real figures.
CARE reaches around 1.3 million people a month in 13 governorates across Yemen providing lifesaving food, cash, water and sanitation services to those in need, including internally displaced people. CARE continues to call for a peaceful and inclusive political solution to the conflict, one which involves the active and meaningful participation of women, young people and civil society organisations.
For more information, go to www.careyemen.org
Alexandra Hilliard, CARE Yemen spokesperson:
Hunger and malnutrition in Yemen have been at critical levels since December 2018 when pockets of famine were announced. Although agencies like CARE were able to scale up and prevent people dying from hunger, there is absolutely no guarantee that famine will not rear its head again.
With a drastic reduction in humanitarian funding and an increase in fighting, the food security situation in Yemen is extremely concerning. We are also seeing elevated food prices and a lack of fuel, as well as environmental factors like severe flooding. We need to act urgently to prevent parents from witnessing their children dying of hunger.
Suha Basharen, CARE Yemen Gender Advisor:
Women are more vulnerable to food insecurity as they are usually the last of the family to eat. When resources are critically scarce, this becomes very dangerous, especially for pregnant women and girls who have more complex nutritional requirements and are at a higher risk of malnutrition.
Salwa, a business owner:
I worry about my family’s health, but the idea of not having food or money to buy food terrifies me more than COVID-19.
Hassan, a CARE programme participant from Lahj governorate:
My income was unstable and we used to eat only one meal a day. I had to borrow money from my friends and neighbours to buy food. The standard of living declined and we faced difficult times. Now, we eat three meals a day. My little child was malnourished, but his health has improved a lot.
Spokespeople available in Sana’a and London
Contact: Alexandra Hilliard, Policy, Communications and Information Coordinator, +447951727473
B-roll footage from an internally displaced person’s camp in Taiz can be found here