The World Food Program (WFP) said on Thursday that it is halting its food distribution program in Yemen due to a severe fuel shortage in the country that has been plagued by heavy fighting since March.
The UN agency, which has over the past two weeks, provided emergency food assistance to 700,000 people in seven provinces, called on all sides in the Yemen conflict to allow food, fuel and other supplies to come into the country.
“We are reaching a point where we can no longer continue to move food from our warehouses to the people who desperately need it,”said Purnima Kashyap, WFP’s Yemen country director.
Since Yemen imports almost 90 percent of its food, the WFP says it is “extremely concerned” about the impact on the population, especially on the most vulnerable given the inability of traders to bring in food from outside and transport it across the country.
“This is a country where half the population is considered food-insecure, meaning that many families do not know where their next meal will come from. They cannot absorb any further shocks, and it is essential that we continue to reach these families with food,” Kashyap said.
The agency is in urgent need of more than 200,000 liters of fuel to be able to continue distributing food supplies already in its warehouses, stocks that can feed 1.5 million people for one month.