Oxfam today urged all parties to the conflict in Yemen to extend the current truce to help avert catastrophic hunger and prevent the humanitarian crisis spiraling in Yemen. The two-month truce which is due to end on June 2, has brought hope to the country after seven years of conflict.
The Ukraine conflict has hit global food supplies and sent food prices soaring compounding what was already one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises, with 3.5 million people in Yemen acutely malnourished and 17.4 million people suffering from hunger.
Yemen imports 90 percent of its food, including over 42 percent of its wheat from Ukraine – a necessity in a country where millions of people depend on bread for most of their daily food. Even before the impact of the Ukraine conflict on food supplies became apparent, the UN predicted a five-fold increase in famine-like conditions.
The first nationwide truce since 2016 has brought a drop in civilian casualties as airstrikes and ground fighting have significantly reduced. Flights out of Sana’a airport have recommenced and fuel ships have been able to enter Hudaydah port while negotiations continue for re-opening of the road to the city of Taiz.
The truce has also enabled humanitarian aid to reach communities that were difficult to reach due to the intense conflict.
Ferran Puig, Oxfam in Yemen Country Director said:
“The truce has brought a long overdue sense of hope that we can break the cycle of violence and suffering in Yemen. The opportunity must be seized to extend the truce and push for a lasting peace if we are to avert the risk of millions of Yemenis being forced into acute hunger.
“All parties to the conflict must put the lives of Yemeni civilians first. Leaders now have a crucial opportunity to build a sustainable, inclusive peace and give Yemenis the chance to recover and rebuild after the unfathomable losses of the last seven years.”
Extending the truce period is essential for the millions of people suffering from a lack of basic services, high prices of food, water and medicine, and dwindling economic opportunities and salaries.
In March, the UN predicted that 19 million people will require food assistance by the end of 2022, including 7.3 million in acute need. Yet, due to a shortage in funding, the World Food Programme was forced to reduce food rations for eight million people out of the 13 million it had planned to help.
Notes to editors
- According to the Integrated Food Phase Classification (IPC) - the global system for measuring food security - published in March, the number of people suffering catastrophic hunger or in famine-like conditions (IPC5) in Yemen is expected to rise from 31,000 to 161,000 in the second half of 2022. The number of people in emergency hunger (IPC4), will rise to 7.3 million during the same period. https://www.ipcinfo.org/ipc-country-analysis/details-map/en/c/1155479
- More detail on the figures and WFP funding: https://www.wfp.org/stories/yemen-millions-risk-ukraine-war-effect-rocks-region
- The 2022 humanitarian needs overview: https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-humanitarian-needs-overview-2022-april-2022