The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) revealed in a recent report a new reduction in food rations distributed to millions of needy people in Yemen.
By the end of June, the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) remained under-funded, forcing aid organizations to reduce or close critical assistance programs, the report showed.
As of June 30, the 2022 HRP secured only 26% of the requested $4.27 billion to provide lifesaving assistance and protection services to 17.9 million people.
With the funding cut in June, five million people will now receive less than half of their daily needs, while eight million people will receive less than one-third of their daily needs.
The report also revealed that the lack of funding has forced the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the sole provider of reproductive health medicines and is leading reproductive health service provision in Yemen, to scale back humanitarian operations by 25% since the beginning of the year.
Only 13% of a $100 million appeal has been funded so far.
In 2021, UNFPA reached 1.6 million women and girls with reproductive health services, assisting 151,000 safe deliveries and averting 344,000 unintended pregnancies, with support to 127 health facilities and payments to 2,065 health workers.
It warned that of the 41 major UN programs, 26 have been scaled back or closed. Unless funding is received, 15 will be either further reduced or closed in the coming months.
The report mentioned that hunger now is worse than ever, yet the World Food Program (WFP) was forced to cut rations for millions of people several weeks ago as it and other aid agencies are dangerously underresourced.
Similar cuts across all sectors are sadly costing lives, the report stressed, noting that it is the second major cut in six months only.
On June 26, the WFP announced scaling back its support in Yemen following critical funding gaps, global inflation and the knock-on effects of the war in Ukraine.
This came at the time when an estimated 19 million people are facing acute food insecurity or worse, with more than 160,000 in catastrophic food needs.
In December 2021, WFP was forced to reduce food rations for eight million people due to funding gaps, and it had to introduce another round of cuts in May.
Resilience and livelihood activities, as well as school feeding and nutrition programs will cease for four million people, leaving assistance available for only 1.8 million people.
The report further warned that if immediate action is not taken, millions of people will face severe food insecurity, avoidable diseases, displacement and death.
Millions more will not be able to rebuild their shattered livelihoods.
Despite a sever funding shortfall, aid agencies in Yemen delivered life- saving assistance and services to an average of 12.6 million people per month during Q1 2022, reaching 70% of the targeted 17.9 million people through the 2022 HRP.
Some 25% of the number of people reached were women and 49% were children.