UN reduces Yemen food rations due to funding shortage

In this file photo taken on June 1, 2021, Yemenis receive humanitarian aid provided by the World Food Programme in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS / AFP)

The World Food Programme said on Wednesday it will reduce food rations for 8 million people in Yemen from January due to a lack of funds, warning of further cuts if more money does not come through.

Families on reduced handouts will receive barely half of the WFP's daily minimum ration. Other food assistance and child malnutrition programs are at risk of further cuts, the WFP said in a statement.

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WFP food stocks in Yemen are running dangerously low.

Corinne Fleische, Regional Director, WFP 

UN agencies, including the WFP, had earlier warned of program cuts, after only $2.68 billion of $3.85 billion requested from donors had been received as of the end of October.

"WFP food stocks in Yemen are running dangerously low," the WFP's Regional Director Corinne Fleischer said in a statement.

"Every time we reduce the amount of food, we know that more people who are already hungry and food insecure will join the ranks of the millions who are starving. But desperate times call for desperate measures."

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Five million people at immediate risk of slipping into famine will keep the full ration, the WFP said. The agency feeds 13 million people a month in Yemen.

Yemen has been plunged into hunger by seven years of war, inflation and impediments to imports.