The country needs 4.3 billion dollars to fight against hunger according to the UN.

Three out of four Yeme­nis will depend on food aid in 2022, Unit­ed Nations (UN) offi­cials have said ahead of a high-lev­el pledg­ing con­fer­ence which aims to raise funds for the war-torn country.

The UN has stressed that $4.3 bil­lion is need­ed to address Yemen’s food short­ages this year and pre­vent 19 mil­lion peo­ple from going hun­gry, and it hopes con­fer­ence par­tic­i­pants will meet the tar­get on Wednes­day in Geneva. .

“For now, fund­ing is dry­ing up and agen­cies are stop­ping their work in Yemen,” UN Under-Sec­re­tary-Gen­er­al for Human­i­tar­i­an Affairs Mar­tin Grif­fiths said on Tues­day. “We need to replen­ish the food sup­ply, pro­vide shel­ter and send a mes­sage to Yeme­nis that we don’t for­get them.”

Offi­cials described impend­ing doom in the Mid­dle East­ern coun­try, which is enter­ing its sev­enth year of conflict.

The fight­ing pits Iran-allied Houthi rebels, who con­trol many of the coun­try’s most pop­u­lat­ed regions, includ­ing the cap­i­tal Sanaa, against the inter­na­tion­al­ly rec­og­nized Yemeni gov­ern­ment. A Sau­di-led coali­tion sup­ports the Yemeni gov­ern­ment and has been wag­ing an air cam­paign against the Houthis since March 2015.

Ear­li­er this year, the Unit­ed Nations World Food Pro­gram (WFP) was forced to cut food rations for eight mil­lion peo­ple due to a lack of fund­ing, with house­holds bare­ly receiv­ing half of the min­i­mum food bas­ket stan­dard WFP dai­ly. Today, the lack of funds puts five mil­lion peo­ple at risk of sink­ing into near-famine conditions.

Grif­fiths, the for­mer UN spe­cial envoy to Yemen, said the dire human­i­tar­i­an sit­u­a­tion in Yemen could wors­en as wheat imports from Ukraine, which sup­plies around 40% of Yemen’s grain, could stop.

“Ukraine is a bread­bas­ket for many coun­tries and must remain so,” Grif­fiths said, warn­ing of the rip­ple effects Rus­si­a’s war on Ukraine could have on oth­er con­flict zones that depend on the coun­try’s wheat production.

In a report released on Mon­day, the UN WFP, its Food and Agri­cul­ture Orga­ni­za­tion (FAO) and its UN Chil­dren’s Fund (UNICEF) warned that the human­i­tar­i­an sit­u­a­tion in Yemen is on the wors­en between June and Decem­ber 2022.

Some 19 mil­lion peo­ple are expect­ed to need food assis­tance, an increase from the cur­rent 17.4 mil­lion. Of these, 7.3 mil­lion peo­ple will face emer­gency lev­els of hunger.

The report also shows a per­sis­tent­ly high lev­el of acute mal­nu­tri­tion among chil­dren under five. Across the coun­try, some 2.2 mil­lion chil­dren suf­fer from acute mal­nu­tri­tion, includ­ing more than half a mil­lion chil­dren suf­fer­ing from severe acute mal­nu­tri­tion, a life-threat­en­ing condition.

In addi­tion, approx­i­mate­ly 1.3 mil­lion preg­nant or breast­feed­ing women suf­fer from acute mal­nu­tri­tion. New data also shows that the num­ber of peo­ple fac­ing star­va­tion is expect­ed to increase five­fold, from 31,000 cur­rent­ly to 161,000 in the sec­ond half of 2022.

“Peace is need­ed to end the decline,” Unit­ed Nations Res­i­dent and Human­i­tar­i­an Coor­di­na­tor for Yemen David Gress­ly said in a state­ment on Tues­day. “The par­ties to the con­flict should lift all restric­tions on trade and invest­ment for non-sanc­tioned prod­ucts. This will help low­er food prices and free the economy.

Yemen’s econ­o­my has col­lapsed amid a Sau­di-led coali­tion block­ade of its main ports, which lim­its access to food and fuel, as well as non-essen­tial goods enter­ing the coun­try. Par­ties to the con­flict, includ­ing the Houthis and the Yemeni gov­ern­ment, have also restrict­ed the trans­fer of fuel and goods across the country.

Food prices more than dou­bled in 2021, while over the same peri­od many salaries went unpaid and remit­tances stag­nat­ed due to COVID-19.

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