Oct 12, 2011
Rome/Sanaa, Yemen - The World Food Programme (WFP) said Wednesday it is scaling up efforts to feed 3.5 million people who are facing hunger in strife-torn Yemen.
'Rising food prices and political instability have left millions of people in Yemen hungry and vulnerable,' Josette Sheeran, the executive director of the Rome-based UN agency, said in a statement.
Food prices have risen 'dramatically' since the beginning of this year, with the price of bread doubling in the past six months, pushing even more people into hunger and food insecurity, WFP said.
Food shortages were particularly high in Yemen's governorates of Rayma, Amran, Hajjah and Ibb, WFP said.
'Even before the crisis, more than 50 per cent of Yemeni children were chronically malnourished and more than 13 per cent were acutely malnourished,' WFP said.
The UN food agency said it is also assisting over 70,000 people who have fled their homes due to ongoing fighting in the South and around half a million displaced in the North as a result of the seven-year long conflict in the governorate of Saada between Shiite rebels and government troops.