Yemen Food Security Outlook Update, August 2021 – Yemen

High food prices and low purchasing power remain a major concern for millions of households

Key messages

  • Violent conflict, now in its seventh year, has crippled Yemen’s economy and continues to be the main driver of food insecurity. In addition to the direct impacts of active fighting, the impacts of political instability, severe currency shortages and further currency depreciation, leading to higher food prices and drastically reduced access to income, exert pressure. increasing economic pressure on households. Over time, many have been forced to engage in harsh food consumption and livelihood strategies, including reducing the number of meals consumed per day and selling productive assets. Currently, flooding during the second rainy season in Yemen and the impacts of a third wave of COVID-19 are further limiting the resources of affected households.

  • Above-average food prices and low purchasing power remain a major concern for millions of households, especially in the poorest wealth groups. In the southern regions controlled by the internationally recognized government (IRG) where the currency continues to depreciate, the average cost of the minimum food basket increased another 7 percent in the first three weeks of August 2021. During this time , in northern areas controlled by the Sana’a-based authorities (SBA), fuel shortages are once again forcing households to purchase fuel at higher unofficial prices.

  • Following the recent intensification, nearly 40 percent of the Yemeni population is once again receiving monthly humanitarian food aid distributions. However, millions of households still face food consumption deficits. As a growing proportion of households have become increasingly dependent on food aid, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) Are expected to persist across the country, with the most affected households facing either Emergency (IPC Phase 4) or Disaster (IPC Phase 5) situations. Although not the most likely scenario, famine (IPC Phase 5) would be possible if there was a significant shock to commercial food import levels or if the food supply was reduced. otherwise cut off from certain areas for an extended period.

  • A third wave of COVID-19 hit Yemen in August. In the second week of August, Yemen recorded its highest number of weekly cases in two months, with 214 confirmed cases and 15 associated deaths. The number of new COVID-19 cases reported daily has reached levels similar to the peak of wave one and has yet to plateau. Currently, only 1% of the population is vaccinated. Given this and limited public health services, essential health expenditure is likely to increase for households affected by the virus, further limiting the ability of poor households to meet basic food and non-food needs.

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