With 14 million people in Yemen lacking reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food, the European Union has committed 12 million euros to assist the efforts of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to tackle rising hunger in the strife-torn Gulf of Aden country.
“This is one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. People’s access to food is rapidly worsening and urgent action is needed,” said Salah Hajj Hassan, FAO Representative in Yemen, in a news release.
“The EU’s contribution will greatly strengthen our ability to collect critical data on food security so that swift action can be taken to avert a further deterioration in the situation. It will also boost efforts to build the resilience of farmers and herders, especially women, by helping them to increase the value of their agricultural production,” he added.
According to the news release, agriculture plays a critical role in food security in Yemen, especially for those living in rural areas of the country, where insecurity and isolation mean food and other forms of humanitarian assistance are intermittent. Agricultural assistance can provide critical relief and is crucial for tackling the disturbingly high levels of malnutrition.
EU funds will provide immediate agricultural support to more than 150,000 people to help them rapidly improve food production and nutrition.
The project will support income-generating activities, such as backyard poultry rearing, dairy production, and beekeeping. Beneficiaries will also have opportunities to boost their incomes by learning how to improve their farming techniques, and about food processing, packaging and marketing.
Farming communities will also learn about proper and efficient irrigation systems to mitigate against the risks of water scarcity, drought and climate changes. The installation of solar pumps will ensure the provision of power to supply water for farming households suffering acute fuel shortages.
Support to the early warning system will include enhancing the collection, analysis and management of nutrition and food security data, and translating alerts into swift response to any emerging crisis.
In 2017, FAO requires $48.4 million to make key emergency agricultural livelihoods interventions that will assist more than three million of the most vulnerable food and nutrition insecure people in the country under its Emergency Livelihoods Response Plan (ELRP).