GENEVA, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- The World Food Programme (WFP) said Thursday it is almost doubling the number of people it aims to reach each month in Yemen to 14 million from its current 7 to 8 million.
"WFP Food and other humanitarian support has been instrumental in helping prevent famine, but the indications are that even greater efforts will be needed to avert mass starvation. The new target is 14 million," said WFP in a statement released here.
It said that intense fighting in and around the port city of Hodeidah has caused major delays to the arrival of humanitarian and commercial cargo.
As a result, the price of food in shops has shot up beyond the reach of many people.
"Yemen is the largest hunger crisis in the world. Millions of people are living on the edge of famine and the situation is getting worse by the day," said WFP.
The WFP said that the food crisis in Yemen is a "man-made one" and is the result of conflict, economic collapse, rising prices, and problems of supply and distribution.
This means that many food items are beyond the reach of most Yemenis.
The UN food body said that an Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) assessment done in October and to be published this month will give a more precise picture of food insecurity in Yemen.
The last IPC report (March 2017) put the numbers in the Emergency category of food insecurity at 6.8 million people.
It is expected that, in the forthcoming IPC, the number could rise to 12 or even 14 million people. This would mean nearly half the population having so little to eat that they are just one step away from starvation, said WFP.