“The war in Ukraine to make more Yemenis hungry”
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) warned on Thursday (Friday in Manila) that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is likely to raise fuel and food prices in war-torn Yemen, pushing more people into hunger as as aid funding declines.
The announcement came as Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, pushing oil prices past $100 a barrel.
European wheat prices also hit a record high on expectations of lower supplies, with Ukraine and Russia being two of the world’s largest producers.
Earlier this year, the WFP was forced to cut food rations for eight million people in Yemen, where a seven-year civil war between the government and Houthi rebels has pushed the country to the brink of famine.
“The escalation of the conflict in Ukraine is likely to further increase the prices of fuel and food, and especially cereals in this import-dependent country,” a WFP statement said on Thursday.
“Food prices have more than doubled in much of Yemen over the past year, leaving more than half of the country in need of food assistance.
“Rising food prices will push more people into the vicious circle of hunger and dependence on humanitarian aid.”
The WFP has repeatedly warned that funds are running out as Yemen faces what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
It needs around $800 million over the next six months to provide comprehensive assistance to the 13 million people it serves.
The shortfall gives the United Nations no choice but to earmark money for five million people in Yemen “on the brink of starvation”, leaving the other eight million suffering from a supply insufficient food with only half of the rations.
WFP’s main donors for its operations in Yemen are the United States, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Germany, European Union, Sweden, Canada and Switzerland.
Last year, the UN appealed for $3.85 billion to pay for emergency aid, but only $1.7 billion was received.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed directly or indirectly in the conflict in Yemen, while millions have been displaced.
“We have no choice but to take food from the hungry to feed the hungry and unless we receive immediate funding, in a few weeks we may not even be able to feed the hungry,” said the WFP statement, quoting WFP Executive Director David Beasley. saying.
“It will be hell on earth,” he warned.
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