The UN cuts Yemen food aid today amidst a funding shortfall, the World Food Program (WFP) announced.
As a result, 8 million people will receive barely half of the agency’s daily minimum ration. Other programs are also at risk. In September, the UN warned that 16 million Yemenis were “marching towards starvation”.
The WFP was forced to cut aid after only raising $1.7 billion out of a targeted $3.85 billion at a recent conference. The decision will have a dire effect on Yemen, where conflict between Saudi-backed government forces and Houthis has devastated the country over the past eight years. The UN has called the conflict the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and the WFP has said that it needs $813 million through May and $1.97 billion during 2022 to deliver sufficient food assistance to Yemen.
Expect the UN to make more reductions if they are unable to raise additional funds. The limited food aid is at risk of being used as a weapon, as the Houthis did in 2019 when they diverted food from Yemenis in need. The WFP threatened to suspend the assistance, which they will likely do again if the aid ends up in a similar situation.
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Margaux is an Analyst and regular contributor to The Daily Brief, specializing in geopolitical and security issues in the Middle East.