UN Warns of Four-Month Lean Period in Yemen

The number of households experiencing inadequate food consumption has increased to 49 percent across Yemen, said a FAO report. (Local media)
The number of households experiencing inadequate food consumption has increased to 49 percent across Yemen, said a FAO report. (Local media)
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UN Warns of Four-Month Lean Period in Yemen

The number of households experiencing inadequate food consumption has increased to 49 percent across Yemen, said a FAO report. (Local media)
The number of households experiencing inadequate food consumption has increased to 49 percent across Yemen, said a FAO report. (Local media)

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that Yemen would be facing a lean period from June to September due to a decrease in humanitarian food assistance in Houthi-controlled areas and a projected increase in food prices in areas held by the legitimate government.

In its quarterly food security update, the FAO said that despite a brief relief experienced from mid-March through April this year due to augmented social support (zakat) during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, food security is anticipated to deteriorate from June to September, marking “the peak of the lean period in the country.”

FAO noted that during the first quarter of 2024, the food security situation deteriorated compared to the same period last year.

Therefore, the number of households experiencing inadequate food consumption has increased to 49 percent nationwide.

The organization expected these deteriorations to persist, adding that household purchasing power has significantly decreased due to the decline in seasonal agricultural and casual labor opportunities. In addition, civil servants are facing extreme delayed salary payments amid a challenging economic outlook while reduced humanitarian food assistance is increasing dependence on markets, it showed.

The report noted that despite increased disruptions in the Red Sea, the importation of food and fuel imports continue normally, ensuring sufficient food supplies in the markets.

Moreover, the report said political violence fell to historic lows as the attention has been shifted to the Red Sea and consequently, there was a drop in new internal displacements of people.

According to FAO High Frequency Monitoring, the proportion of households with inadequate food consumption nationally rose to 49 percent in March 2024, up from 43 percent in the last quarter and 47 percent during the same month last year.

In Houthi-controlled areas, inadequate food consumption in March 2024 showed an increase from 6 to 8 percent higher than in the same quarter of 2023.

In the first quarter of 2024, the FAO report said most of the governorates experiencing the largest declines in food consumption are in Houthi-controlled areas, including Al-Jawf, Hajja, Taiz, Saadah, Marib and Raymah, compared to Aden and Hadramout in government-controlled areas.

Field reports also indicated a surge in the number of malnourished children during the period under review.

The cholera situation in Yemen, spanning from March 14 to April 2, 2024, continues to raise concerns, FAO said.

The Ministry of Health counted a total of 7,364 suspected cases. Among these, there are 260 confirmed cases and 66 deaths. The primary sources of contamination are raw vegetables and fruits (67%) and water (33%).

Approximately 71.4 percent of surveyed households reported a decline in their primary income, a significant increase from the 61 percent recorded during the same period in 2023, the FAO report noted.

It added that in March 2024, agricultural casual labor income decreased for 71% of households in SBA areas, compared to 60.3% in the same month in 2023.

And despite an average increase in agricultural and casual labor rates by 13-14% in the government areas in March, these rates remained relatively stable in Houthi-controlled areas.

Meanwhile, labor opportunities have decreased year on year, leading to reduced household income in March 2024, as indicated by 26% of households reporting reduced income as a major shock, a significant rise from 12.4% the previous year, relatively higher in Houthi-controlled areas (28%) than in the legitimate government areas (20%).

The report said various regions, including Al-Bayda, Sanaa, Dhamar, Hadramout, Hajjah, Lahj, Raymah, Shabwah and Taiz, reported higher income reductions than during the same period the year before.



Gaza Health Ministry: 70 Palestinians Killed by Israeli Fire in Khan Younis

Smoke rises following Israeli bombardments in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, July 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)
Smoke rises following Israeli bombardments in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, July 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)
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Gaza Health Ministry: 70 Palestinians Killed by Israeli Fire in Khan Younis

Smoke rises following Israeli bombardments in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, July 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)
Smoke rises following Israeli bombardments in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Monday, July 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Seventy Palestinians were killed and more than 200 wounded by Israeli fire on the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, Gaza's Health Ministry said on Monday.

It said some of the wounded were in a "dangerous condition.”

Another strike hit outside Al-Aqsa Hospital in the central town of Deir-Al-Balah, where many people were living in tents on the street, killing one person and wounding three.

The attacks came as the Israeli military ordered the evacuation of part of a crowded area in the Gaza Strip it had designated a humanitarian zone, saying it is planning an operation against Hamas militants there. The order triggered a new flight of Palestinians, many of whom had taken refuge there just in the past weeks.

The Health Ministry said the toll from Israel’s nine-month war against Hamas in Gaza has surpassed 39,000 Palestinians killed and 89,800 wounded.