Famine in Yemen Could Increase Fivefold Without Immediate Action, UN Warns

Multiple United Nations agencies raised alarm Monday about the Yemeni food crisis. They warned of a fivefold increase in the risk of famine.

WarningsThe Food and Agriculture Organization, UNICEF, and the World Food Program (WFP) all responded to the newly released Integrated Phase Classification. analysisYemen is the primary culprit for the current conflict’s food crisis.

The IPC is an international initiative that tracks the severity and extent of acute and persistent food insecurity in hotspots around world.

“The resounding takeaway” from the new report, said U.N. resident and humanitarian coordinator for Yemen David Gressly, “is that we need to act now.”

The IPC analysis expresses particular concern that 31,000 people in the country are currently facing extreme hunger levels — what it classifies as a phase 5 catastrophe — and that the figure is projected to rise to 161,000 over the second half of the year.

The report also categorized 17.4 million people in Yemen in at least a phase 3 “serious” acute malnutrition stage and in need of assistance. The record number of people in Yemen is expected to reach 19 million by June.

There are also 2.2 million children acutely malnourished — 538,000 of whom are severely malnourished. Another alarming statistic is that 1.3 million pregnant or lactating women also suffer from acute malnutrition.

“More and more children are going to bed hungry in Yemen,” UNICEF executive director Catherine Russell said a statement. “This puts them at increased risk of physical and cognitive impairment, and even death.”

“The plight of children in Yemen can no longer be overlooked,” she said. “Lives are at stake.”

The new figures come amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which has forced2.5 million Ukrainians fleeing and triggered a foodAnd fuel crisis

Yemen is dependent heavily on food imports. It imports about 30% of its wheat, according to U.N.

David Beasley, WFP executive director, made a statement earlier in the month comparing the Ukraine invasion to the catastrophe in Yemen. warning that “the bullets and bombs in Ukraine could take the global hunger crisis to levels beyond anything we’ve seen before.” He warned the war will impact global supply chains and the cost of food.

Beasley appeared just after Russia launched its invasion. expressed concern that malnourished Yemeni children have “been forgotten by the world.”

Reacting Wednesday to the IPC report, Beasley said, “These harrowing figures confirm that we are on a countdown to catastrophe in Yemen and we are almost out of time to avoid it.”

“Unless we receive substantial new funding immediately, mass starvation and famine will follow,” he said. “But if we act now, there is still a chance to avert imminent disaster and save millions.”