This year, following the COVID-19 pandemic, the statistics indicate Yemeni civilians experiencing malnutrition have increased by 3 million



To suffer from hunger means that a person is unable to obtain enough food for their everyday needs. Those experiencing famine lack widespread accessibility to the primary sustenance essential for one’s proper nutrition. 16 million people in Yemen are experiencing exactly this. They are living on the brink of famine, experiencing a food crisis that is exacerbating their already precarious state of health. Over half of the population is unable to guarantee regular meals every day, or even access to basic foods. The hunger crisis in Yemen is the inevitable result of six years of uninterrupted conflict that has generated millions of displaced people as well as having annihilated all means of subsistence; ultimately, it has dragged the economy towards a chasm with seemingly no exit.


The past year, marked by a global pandemic and inevitable strain on the economic and health systems in every country, has led Yemen into an even worse condition, with pockets of famine increasing to levels of extreme humanitarian emergency over the past 12 months.


The Statistics of the Hunger Crisis


INTERSOS, with its team of field workers in every region of the country, even the most remote, has been able to observe the accelerated decline over the past year at first hand. The statistics of children suffering from acute malnutrition have escalated to 2,254,663, and those living in a state of severe malnutrition, is currently around 395,195.


The war, the economic and social collapse, the pandemic, and other viral diseases, such as Cholera, creates an image of Yemen that continues to decay and that, despite humanitarian activism, the international community notes a fearful indifference. From the beginning of 2021 in the governorates of Al Jawf, Amran and Hajjah— according to data from WFP and FAO — it is estimated that by the end of the summer the population currently at catastrophic levels of food insecurity will triple compared to April, reaching 47,000 people. Overall, across the country, an additional 3 million people are reported to be malnourished compared to last year.


The fragility of children requires preventive action by humanitarian organisations in the field, and since 2015 INTERSOS has been providing nutritional services to children less than five years of age, pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as other vulnerable groups in five different Yemeni governorates. Hunger has become a central theme in the last 12 months and has quickly taken root throughout Yemen due to restrictions and lockdown periods in the country. INTERSOS has made it their priority in almost every humanitarian activity, most of which are linked to interventions of acute malnutrition in 28 health facilities supported by INTERSOS.


The impact of the pandemic on hunger


COVID-19 also caused major disruptions to food supply chains and a drastic reduction in per capita income, which have caused basket prices to rapidly increase. If this increase continues, living conditions are expected to worsen for thousands of families, particularly within the northern areas of Yemen. These northern areas are isolated from humanitarian aid for security reasons, or due to the absence of infrastructural connections.


However, in this areas, INTERSOS operators constantly try to reach as many people as possible through mobile clinics capable of facilitating access to nutritional services.