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U.S. donation helps strategy shift in Yemen

A U.S. donation will help support Yemenis overcome hunger and poverty
A U.S. donation will help support Yemenis overcome hunger and poverty
WFP/Maria Santamarina

The United States is scaling up its efforts to fight hunger in Yemen. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) yesterday announced a US $40 million donation from America. WFP will use the funds in assisting 2.8 million hungry Yemenis.

The U.S. donation goes beyond just emergency food aid. It's about creating long-term solutions to Yemen's hunger crisis. WFP says, "The project will support a gradual shift from relief towards livelihood support and building resilience through productive safety net activities, creating jobs, enhancing agriculture, promoting education and combating Yemen’s malnutrition crisis."

Over 10 million people suffer from hunger in Yemen. As the country tries to overcome years of internal conflict, political instability and the Al-Qaeda terrorist threat, poverty is further weakening the population.

E-vouchers will be given to needy families, which will allow them to purchase food from local markets. This will help the economy by allowing local stores to benefit from the sale. Other programs will help farmers repair or build irrigation systems, dams and terraces so they can grow more food.

Meals in school will be provided to boost nutrition levels, classroom attendance and performance. A goal for WFP is to purchase this food locally to also help the economy.

WFP and its partners will continue to help Yemen fight child malnutrition, which is devastating the country. Malnutrition causes lasting physical and mental damage. Enriched peanut pastes Plumpy'Sup and Plumpy'Doz will be fed to children under 5 years of age.

WFP relies entirely on voluntary donations for its mission in Yemen and other countries. Many more donations will be needed to implement its hunger fight strategy.

The United States is the largest donor to WFP. Karen Sasahara, Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy, says, “This donation is a reflection of the United States Government’s commitment to the people of Yemen. Through our partnership with WFP and the Government of Yemen, we are creating opportunities to build Yemenis’ resilience to overcome the impact of food insecurity.”