The Isle of Man Government’s Overseas Aid Committee is supporting Oxfam in its response to the current food crisis in Yemen, where up to 10 million Yemenis face hunger.
Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East and food insecurity there is a major problem. This is aggravated by political instability, and although a new president was elected in February 2012 after months of protests against the previous incumbent, there is still conflict between the Yemeni Government and Al Qaeda.
According to reports almost half the population is affected by food insecurity. It is estimated that 58% of children under five in Yemen are stunted through malnutrition, and it has the second highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world after Afghanistan. The UN’s Office for Humanitarian Assistance has also recently noted that water improvement, sanitation and promotion of hygiene are urgently needed in the country.
The funding will allow Oxfam to help over 70,000 Yemeni people by providing cash transfers and ensuring access to clean water and sanitation.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon Phil Gawne MHK, commented: ‘A critical food security situation, high food and fuel prices and internal conflict are driving families in Yemen to absolute poverty. Oxfam and other bodies are already responding to the crisis and we know that this money will go some way to providing relief to those in need.’