According to the World Food Programme (WFP), around 14 million people in Yemen – more than half the country’s population – have become food insecure, and of those, around seven million are classified as severely food insecure.
A report released this month by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), found that the problem of food insecurity in Yemen has deteriorated substantially since last year – and the decline is set to continue.
The report noted that, in mid-October this year, average wheat flour prices were 47 percent higher than the February average, while diesel prices in October were 270 percent higher than in February.
At the same time, household income has fallen as residents struggle to make a living.
Abdullah al-Osaimi is just one of these resident, and he worries every day about how to put food on the table for his wife and four children.
The family fled several months ago from their home in Yemen’s Noqm neighbourhood, east of the capital Sanaa, amid ongoing air strikes by the Saudi-led Arab coalition battling the country’s Houthi rebels. They eventually resettled in a school housing internally displaced persons in the heart of Sanaa.
“The problem of being homeless has been solved, but we are unable to find a solution for the most critical problem we face: accessing food and clean water,” Osaimi, a 45-year-old unemployed salesperson, told Al Jazeera. When his family fled Noqm, they left behind their home, his small shop, and almost everything inside.
Osaimi has since eked out a living by selling bottles of water to pedestrians in Sanaa, quickly burning through his small savings of around 10,000 Yemeni rials ($50).
“I have become unable to provide food to my family – even the basic needs, such as plain bread and water,” Osaimi said.
- Pray for Yemen, especially for the current talks to bring a cease-fire. Pray for successful talks and for genuine peace to come to this troubled nation.
- Pray for people like Osaimi, struggling to find enough work to enable them to feed their families. Pray for aid shipments to reach those who need it most and for a resolution to the severe food and water shortages.
- Pray for Christians in Yemen, to know the presence of the Prince of Peace this Christmas, and to reflect that peace and hope to their neighbours and communities.
Psalm 146 vs 5 and 7: “Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God … who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.“