Statement by Mohamed Abdi, NRC Yemen Country Director
The latest shocking hunger figures from Yemen tell us in the starkest terms that without urgent action, 13.5 million Yemenis are currently at risk of starvation and close to 17,000 people are already living in famine conditions. These figures are expected to multiply in the next six months.
Six years of war have turned food into a weapon against the Yemeni people in the form of a crippling economic blockade, restrictions on imports, and relentless attacks on farms and fishermen. While the markets are full, food is out of reach for millions who can no longer afford it. All this is happening when aid funding has been dramatically slashed in Yemen and the economy is spiralling. At NRC we have had to halve our food aid to 360,000 people because of this. Adults tell us that they are skipping meals regularly so that their children do not go to bed hungry.
We still have time to reverse this course and prevent another historic famine. But we need to act immediately. Waiting for a famine declaration to act will condemn hundreds of thousands of people to death, as we've seen in Somalia in 2011. Timely and generous aid funding and support to the economy in 2018 helped stave off famine. Yemen needs a similar injection of aid today to help families survive, together with an end to the conflict and all manmade actions leading to starvation.