WFP rations include staples like cereals, pulses and oil. According to a recent WFP food security survey, nearly 13 percent of Al-Mahweet residents are classified as food insecure – a level of need that generally requires external food assistance.
Terraced fields en-route to Al-Mahweet, 110 kilometres northwest of the Yemeni capital Sanaa. This country that once boasted terraced fields, water canals and rainfall, has been drying up for some time. Nearly 5 million Yemenis are severely food insecure; that is 22 percent of the population having no means to purchase of produce the food they need.
Men in Al-Mahweet queue up to receive WFP food assistance. During the dry season from May to October, WFP provides monthly food rations to the poorest households with who have been hit the hardest by rising food prices.
Mohamed, 43, picks up the food ration for his family. This father of eight is a farmer but the harvest this season was poor so he was prioritized by WFP as one of the severely food insecure families. Yemeni farmers are facing the additional burden of a changing climate.
WFP assistance relieves families of a part of their food-related debts. According to the food security survey WFP carried out between November and December of last year, 25 percent of food consumed in Yemen is purchased on credit.
Al-Hasaba market in Sanaa shows marks of the 2011 political unrest. Tens of people died in this market during fighting that swept across the capital. Political instability and insecurity have negatively affected households’ ability to access food. In urban areas, where insecurity was prominent, almost 24 percent of households reported difficulty in accessing food, while in the capital the figure jumped to 50 percent.