Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Half of Yemenis threatened by food crisis

31 May 2014, 08:11

Geneva - Nearly half of Yemen's population is going hungry, the UN's food agency warned on Friday, saying it was scaling up its aid to the impoverished country.

More than 10 million of Yemen's some 25 million inhabitants are either severely food insecure - meaning they require food assistance because they cannot find enough food for themselves - or teetering on the edge, the World Food Programme said.

The country has one of the world's highest levels of malnutrition among children, with nearly half of all kids under the age of five - a full two million of them - stunted, WFP spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs told reporters.

A million of those kids are acutely malnourished, she said.

The problem is difficult to tackle.

Yemen, one of the world's poorest countries, has been going through a difficult political transition since veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh was ousted in February 2012 after a year of deadly protests against his 33-year rule.

The country is struggling with endemic poverty, political instability, large-scale displacement of Yemenis and refugee influxes from other countries, civil strife and rife insecurity.

At the same time, Yemen is particularly vulnerable to international hikes in food prices, since it imports up to 90 percent of its main staple foods like wheat and sugar, Byrs pointed out.

In a bid to try to get the situation under control, WFP is scaling up its food assistance programme to Yemen, where it already provided aid to some 839 000 people last month, she said.

Starting in July, the UN agency plans to launch a special two-year "Recovery Operation", aimed at addressing long-term hunger and helping ensure food stability for some six million people.

Under the programme, the UN agency will among other things provide malnutrition prevention and treatment, give 200 000 girls in school take-home rations of food, and will help create rural jobs, improve agriculture and water supplies, Byrs said.

The aid increase will be costly, she said, with the agency estimating the two-year programme will cost around $491m.

So far however, WFP remains $117.5m short to cover its operations just until the end of this year, Byrs said.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...