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«YEMEN November 2014 Data collected in March-April 2014 With the support of: Yemen Comprehensive Food Security Survey Diplomatic Area, Nowakshot ...»

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Food Security




November 2014

Data collected in March-April 2014

With the support of:


Comprehensive Food Security Survey

Diplomatic Area, Nowakshot Street, House No. 22, P.O. Box 7181, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

Tel: +967 1 214 100 Fax: +967 1 205 515

wfp.sanaa@wfp.org www.wfp.org/countries/yemen

All photographs © WFP

For questions or comments concerning any aspect of the food security and vulnerability analysis sections of the

report please contact:

WFP Country Office, Yemen Endalkachew Alamnew VAM Officer endalkachew.alamnew@wfp.org Ahmed Ismail National VAM Officer ahmed.ismail@wfp.org

For questions or comments regarding any aspect of the nutrition section and related issues, please contact:

Nagib Abdulbaqi Nutrition officer, UNICEF Yemen nabdulbaqi@unicef.org Contents Key messages 3 Foreword 4 Acknowledgement 5 Acronyms 6 Executive summary 7 The Yemen context 10 Objectives and methodology 18 Food security situation 21 Nutrition situation of children and women 45 Causes of food insecurity and malnutrition 62 Coping strategies used by vulnerable groups 81 Recommendations 87 Selected references 89 Key messages  Over 40 percent of the population are food-insecure  Nearly half of the rural population and over onequarter of the urban population are food-insecure  Food insecurity is reduced between 2011 and 2014  Food insecurity is greater in women-headed households  More than one in 10 children is acutely malnourished  Prevalence of global stunting fell between 2011 and 2014, but still remains at critical level  More than one-third of rural children are underweight  Al-Mahweet and Amran governorates have the highest prevalence of global stunting  Breastfeeding practices are generally very poor Foreword With a population of around 26 million people, Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab region. It is also the world’s eighth most food-insecure country. It continues to experience a range of complex socioeconomic and political problems. The country is struggling to recover from the impacts of international food and fuel prices as well as the global financial crisis. Yemen is now ranked the lowest in the Arab world when measured by all socioeconomic and political development indicators. More than half of the population is under extreme poverty.

The country faces multi-dimensional challenges. Poor governance associated with lack of adequate social services;

gender inequalities; poor access to social infrastructure; environmental degradation and depletion of natural resources coupled with the negative impacts of climate change have all increased the number of people affected by food insecurity and poverty.

Findings of this latest Comprehensive Food Security Survey (CFSS) reveal that the level of food insecurity in Yemen is still very high – although the overall proportion of food insecure population slightly declined from 45 percent in 2011 to 41 percent in 2014. However, the number of food insecure remains the same as that in 2011. Currently,

10.6 million people in Yemen are food insecure, of whom 5 million (or 19 percent of the population) are severely food insecure and 5.6 million (22 percent) are moderately food insecure. The level of both acute and chronic malnutrition among children and women nationally remains as high as recorded in 2011, due to poor levels of mother education, mother nutritional status and poverty as well as health-related problems associated with a lack of adequate services, including water and sanitation utilities and health care facilities.

Widespread conflicts, political instability and insecurity deterioration in economic growth, extreme poverty, high population growth, high unemployment rate, huge reduction in remittances, volatility of prices of food and other essential commodities, increasing cost of living, including unaffordable health expenses, declining purchasing power, and continued conflicts and the destruction of vital infrastructure, including oil pipelines and electricity power lines, are among the main factors responsible for the high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition.

The report offers a huge amount of updated information on the current food security and nutrition situation in Yemen and answers key food-security related questions, such as how many people are food insecure, where they are, who they are, why they are food insecure, etc. It also reviews the socio-political and macro-economic situation in the country and summarizes the contextual issues considered as among the most important underlying causes of poverty, malnutrition and food security in Yemen. The report also provides important recommendations for immediate humanitarian life-saving and livelihood protection responses to address the urgent needs of vulnerable groups in Yemen. It also recommends the implementation of the national food security strategy and other relevant policies to address the root causes of food insecurity and malnutrition in the country.

The findings of the CFSS remind us that we are still have a huge challenge ahead, requiring our collective action.

All stakeholders need to join forces and resources to achieve a better and sustainable impact on enabling vulnerable Yemenis to become self-sufficient, able to feed themselves and resilient to future shocks. We hope our partners and all stakeholders will make a maximum use of the results of the survey for their various programmes in terms of advocacy, resource mobilization and prioritization of areas for implementation of humanitarian and development interventions. The three partners – WFP, CSO and UNICEF – are committed to working very closely with all stakeholders in the fight against hunger and malnutrition in Yemen. Finally, we would like to thank all the organizations involved in the successful compilation of the CFSS with special thanks to USAID for funding the survey.

–  –  –

Special thanks go to the Government of Yemen, particularly to the CSO, for its great commitment and support throughout the entire process of the CFSS in general, and in the planning, preparations, sampling design, and management of the field work, in particular. Experts from CSO who have immensely involved in the survey include Ali Abdullah Saleh Ben Qanaan, Tareq Saeed Almathhaji, Redhwan Ali Ghanem Yahya, and Mofadal Ahmed Alharazi.

WFP’s VAM team in Yemen has led and managed the entire process of the CFSS – Ahmadshah Shahi has played a critical role in the overall management and leadership of the survey, while Endalkachew Alamnew has technically led the various stages of the CFSS including the compilation of the report, and Ahmed Ismail has led the administrative and logistical aspects of the survey. Ms. Mariko Kawabata, a Regional VAM Officer in WFP Regional Bureau in Cairo, has made vital support during the design of the survey as well as in the analysis and commenting on the report. WFP VAM in HQ/Rome has also provided technical guidance and support.

Iain McDonald, Emergency Coordinator within WFP Yemen, has made remarkable managerial and technical support in the successful implementation of the CFSS. Francesca Erdelmann, Head of Programme in WFP Yemen, also contributed in terms of technical guidance on the nutrition section of the survey. Robin Lodge who is a senior donor relations officer and head of external relations, and Regina Bakhteeva who is donor and external relations officer – both from WFP Yemen Country Office – have made valuable contributions. Tom Woodhatch, a professional editor hired as a consultant by WFP Yemen, has consolidated and edited the full CFSS report.

UNICEF Yemen has taken the overall leadership on the nutrition part of the survey. Nagib Abdulbaqi was heavily involved in all stages of the survey focusing on the nutritional aspects of the CFSS. Oumar Hamza, a nutrition consultant hired by WFP with financial support of UNICEF, has led the data analysis and report drafting on nutrition section of the CFSS. Other colleagues from UNICEF including Anteneh Gebremichael (Nutrition Cluster Coordinator) have also made several important technical contributions.

The CFSS was technically guided by a steering committee that was established during the early stage of the survey. The committee members include WFP, UNICEF, CSO, FAO, USAID, MOPIC, Oxfam, Food Security and Agriculture Cluster Coordinator, and Nutrition Cluster Coordinator. Mohamad Sallam and Belihu Negesse from FAO have done critical support on the analysis of the CFSS data and providing valuable comments on the report.

Several other individuals from WFP, CSO and UNICEF have made remarkable contributions during different phases of the survey.

The survey was generously funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in Yemen which was crucial for the implementation of the CFSS. WFP Yemen also provided additional financial and logistical support. The Government of Yemen is grateful for these generous contributions.

Finally, the authors would like to thank WFP Yemen’s former Country Director, Mr. Bishow Parajuli, for his support, advice and encouragement throughout the process of compiling this report.

Acronyms AQAP Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula CFSAM Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission CFSS Comprehensive Food Security Survey CI Confidence Interval CIA Central Intelligence Agency CSI Coping Strategy Index CSO Central Statistics Office ENA Emergency Nutrition Assessment FAO Food and Agriculture Organisation FCS Food Consumption Score FEWS NET Famine Early Warning System Network FSMS Food Security Monitoring System GAM Global Acute Malnutrition GCC Gulf Cooperation Council GDP Gross Domestic Product GII Gender Inequality Index GoY Government of Yemen GPC General People’s Congress HDI Human Development Index HDR Human Development Report HH Household IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute IMF International Monetary Fund MOA Ministry of Agriculture MENA Middle East and North Africa MUAC Mid-Upper Arm Circumference NDC National Dialogue Conference NGO Non-Government Organization SAM Severe Acute Malnutrition SMART Standardized Monitoring and Assessment for Relief and Transition SWF Social Welfare Fund TOT Terms of Trade UFSMS Updated Food Security Monitoring Survey UNDP United Nations Development Programme UN OCHA United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund USD United States Dollars USAID United States of Agency for International Development VAM Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping WB World Bank WFP World Food Programme WHO World Health Organization WRA Women of Reproductive Age Executive summary The results of the 2014 Comprehensive Food Security Survey (CFSS) showed that some 41 percent of the population in Yemen are food-insecure. In other words, 10.6 million people in the country had limited or no access to sufficient, nutritious food, and were eating less than the minimum required to live a healthy life. About 19 percent of the population are severely food insecure (poor diet) and 22 percent are moderately food insecure (just on borderline level of food consumption). Around 48 percent of the total rural population were found to be food insecure, compared to 26 percent in urban areas.

Yemen’s macro‐level food security has deteriorated dramatically in recent years, mainly because of declining oil exports and increasing food imports. The proportion of food insecure population stood at around 22 percent in 2003, but doubled to 44 percent in 2008 due to the impact of the high food and fuel prices and financial crisis in 2007/2008, which brought an estimated 44 percent increase in national poverty. However, the food security situation in 2009 improved remarkably and led to a significant reduction in the percentage of food insecure population to 32 percent.

The improved consumption in 2009 was partly a result of quick recovery by households with a strong coping capacity, while for poor households it came at the expense of increased debt and further depletion of assets. The 2011 civil unrest and political crisis, which happened before the population was able to fully recover from previous shocks, resulted in the worst food insecurity in decades. Some 45 percent of the population became food insecure – 40 percent higher than in 2009.

Compared to the 2011 CFSS findings, overall food insecurity fell by about 8 percent in 2014. While 44.5 percent of the population was food in secure in 2011, that figure reduced to 41.1 percent in 2014.

There are significant differences in food insecurity between governorates. Sa’ada governorate, which was surveyed for the first time, was found to have the country’s most food insecure regions. Nearly 70 percent of the population there are food insecure, of which more than 40 percent are severely food insecure. In another five governorates – Lahej, Hajja, Shabwa, Ad Daleh and Al Bayda – more than half of all their populations are food insecure. Al Mahra, Hadramout and Aden governorates, meanwhile, are among the least food insecure, with less than 10 percent of people having poor or borderline food consumption.

Some governorates, including Ibb, Taiz, and Hudeida, although not the highest in terms of the proportion of food insecure people, are densely populated areas and have greater numbers of people experiencing food shortages. Some governorates have also seen remarkable improvements in 2014 over 2011 levels. More than 70 percent of the populations of Mareb, Sana’a and Al Bayda were food insecure in 2011, but the levels of food insecurity had fallen to 35 percent, 40 percent, and 55 percent, respectively, in 2014. There was some improvement in the food security of households in temperate highlands between 2011 and 2014 which could mainly be attributed to the ongoing humanitarian assistance, but a dramatic deterioration for those in the internal plateau agro-ecological zone where there was continued conflicts coupled with low level of aid operations.

The diet of many households in Yemen lacks diversity. The main staple items – wheat and rice, together with oil/fat and sugar/honey – make up the three dominant types of food group, in addition to the condiments that most people consume daily. Severely food insecure households have poor food consumption and their daily diet tends to consist of cereals daily, sugar six days a week, oil on five days, with very little other food groups consumed.

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