GENEVA, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Ongoing conflict in Yemen had resulted in 17 million people, almost two thirds of its population, in hunger, with a record 7 million people depending entirely on food assistance, the World Food Program (WFP) said Wednesday in a statement.
The past two and a half years of fighting have devastated Yemen's infrastructure and livelihoods, forcing more than two thirds of the country's population into hunger, of whom seven million are on the brink of starvation and depending entirely on assistance to meet their most basic food needs, according to WFP statistics.
Despite conflict and other access constraints, the WFP in August reached nearly seven million people with monthly food assistance, as well as specialized nutrition supplements to treat and prevent malnourishment among women and children. However, due to lack of adequate funding only half of these people received a full ration.
"We are doing everything within our power to help avert famine in Yemen," said WFP Representative and Country Director in Yemen Stephen Anderson, calling for sufficient funding and cooperation from all parties to the conflict to ensure regular access to Yemenis who are most in need.
The UN food agency is currently prioritizing its assistance to people in areas experiencing near-famine conditions and most at need, by concentrating its efforts on, for example, vulnerable families with no breadwinner in which women or children are already malnourished, and displaced people with no income.
Though latest WFP monitoring reports show that food assistance is making a positive impact on recipients, a funding shortfall of 350 million U.S. dollars for the coming six months may still impair the agency's further hunger-relieving efforts in Yemen, it said, thus urging for more and continuous support from government donors, UN funds and private sector donors.