More than 10 million Yemenis lack food: UN agency
Almost half of Yemeni population lack access to safe water and need humanitarian aid, says food agency.

More than 10 million Yemenis lack adequate food supplies and nearly five million are facing an emergency, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization has said in a report.

The food crisis is expected to increase in the country and has emerged amid the escalating conflict and the country's cropping season, the FAO said in a report released on Wednesday.

Food prices have risen as a consequence of the conflict and negatively affected agricultural production across Yemen, it said.

The UN agency's latest assessment said 4.8 million people were suffering increasing malnutrition because of a lack of food including 850,000 children who were acutely malnourished.

'Crucial period'

About 16 million people - almost half of Yemen's population - lack access to safe water supplies and need some form of humanitarian aid, it said.

Salah Hajj Hassan, FAO Representative for Yemen, said: "We are entering a crucial period for crop production in Yemen and now, more than ever, agriculture cannot be an afterthought if we want to prevent more people from becoming food insecure amid this crisis."

FAO says it has been working in Yemen to improve farmers' lives and help internally displaced people since 2014.

Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, FAO Assistant Director-General for North Africa and the Near East, said: "Even before fighting intensified this spring, Yemenis were in dire need of support to build up their agricultural production.

"The deteriorating situation means we need to double down on our efforts to ensure that as many farmers as possible are able to plant this growing season and strengthen their ability to withstand future shocks."

Air campaign

The FAO says it has been providing aid programs to impoverished Yemen which have helped more than 90,000 people.

Further plan aimed at aiding about 235,000 people with livelihood programs has only $4 million of the $12 million in funding that it requires.

Fractious Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when the Shiite Houthis overran capital Sanaa, from which they have sought to extend their influence to other parts of the country.

Saudi Arabia has led other Gulf countries in an air campaign against Houthi positions in Yemen since March 25.

Certain Gulf States accuse Shiite Iran of supporting Yemen's Houthi insurgency.

Last Modified: 2015-04-16 11:06:11
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