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Yemen is at a "tipping point" as conflict and economic woes drag the country to the brink of famine and risk cancelling out the gains made through humanitarian action in the past few years, the United Nations World Food Programme has warned today.

Conflict has escalated across more than 40 frontlines, the cost of basic foods is higher than ever before and the currency has lost 25 per cent of its value in 2020 alone – 70 per cent compared to its pre-war value. As the country’s foreign currency reserves tick towards zero, Yemen’s ability to import food could also disappear, threatening more hunger for millions.

“Yemen is a man-made crisis and there is a man-made solution. We need access, funding and eventually peace,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley. “In 2018, we pulled Yemen back from the brink. We can do that again, if we have the funds and the access.”

Conditions in Yemen have deteriorated beyond the point reached in 2018. Over 20 million people in Yemen are food insecure, with 13 million requiring WFP food assistance to meet their daily needs. Another three million people are at risk of worsening hunger as Coronavirus sweeps unchecked across Yemen.

For the last six months, families in areas controlled by the Sana’a authorities have only received food assistance on alternate months as WFP has tried to stretch its limited resources and avoid full breaks in assistance. But this has made life harder for millions: in just three months, people with inadequate food consumption in these areas increased from 28 to 43 per cent, according to WFP data.

The WFP has warned that further cuts to food assistance are expected in the last quarter of 2020 if additional funding is not received.

Source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/coronavirus-news-uk-covid-lockdown-pubs-weddings-masks/

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