by Thimar

Documenting the unfolding tradegy in Yemen this page serves to archive news and other reports about the Yemeni agricultural sector and the related food crisis. With some 60% of the population dependent on food aid before the war and its food producing sector / agriculture (especially wheat) already crippled by the combination of reccurent conflict and the hare-brained application of neoliberal policy prescriptions, the current war promises great harm to the general population.  This page will be continously updated. Those who are carrying out the bombing are those, a month into the conflict, elected to get in ‘humanitarian aid’ past the blockade.


Two articles from the mid 80s by Martha Mundy from themid 1980s give an idea of the development of agriculture, in English on the Tihama here, and another in Arabic here.


For more in-depth analysis also check out:


Mundy, Martha, al-Hakimi, Amin and Pelat, Frédéric (2014) Neither security nor sovereignty: the political economy of food in Yemen. In: Babar, Zahra and Mirgani, Suzi, (eds.) Food Security in the Middle East. Hurst Publishing, London, UK. ISBN 9781849043021


The Yemen War Archive serves as repository for reports on the effects of the bombing raids and blockade on Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition in the spring of 2015.


This page documents the development of desert locusts in Yemen in the spring of 2016.



Last update 17 February, 2016,


Feburary 17 -- Reliefweb -- Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien Statement to the Security Council on Yemen, New York, 16 February 2016

The conflict is exacting a terrible humanitarian toll. Some 2.7 million people have had to flee their homes. At least 7.6 million people are severely food insecure. Some two million acutely malnourished children and pregnant or lactating women need urgent treatment.


Feburary 5 -- bellingcat -- Yemen’s Bombed Water Infrastructure: An OSINT Investigation

The conflict in Yemen has caused immense suffering, exacerbating the longstanding water crisis in the country. For nearly a year, Yemen’s water infrastructure appears to have been under deliberate attack. This open source intelligence (OSINT) investigation looks into the latest attack (allegedly January 8, 2016) on a water facility, the seawater desalinisation plant north of Mocha, 2016, and places this attack in a wider context of attacks on illegitimate targets, specifically water infrastructure.


Feburary 2 -- Yemen News --The targeting of Yemeni fishermen by Saudi and American Aircraft / استهداف الصيادين اليمنيين من قبل طائرات السعودية والامريكيين



February 8 -- Al Masdar News -- Saudi jets target’s Yemen reservoir, dam.

"Saudi Arabia’s fighter jets totally destroyed a reservoir in al-Nahdin district in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on Sunday evening, Yemen’s Arabic-language Saba news agency reported. According to the report, the reservoir, which supplied water to at least 30,000 people in the densely populated area, could store up to 5,000 cubic meters of water and had cost Yemenis $4 million."


February 4 -- Atlantic Council  -- Three Things We Do Not Know About Yemen

"Public opinion data in Yemen was available before the war through Sanaa-based Yemen Polling Center, the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, and the Arab Barometer, among others, but only one nationwide poll has been completed in the past year. Conducted by Gallup, the data demonstrate what we already know: most Yemenis (71 percent) find it difficult or very difficult to get by on their income; 45 percent have lost their main source of income due to the war; and 94 percent are either struggling to get by or else suffering (6 percent are “thriving”). But the report estimates that 30 percent of Yemenis were not represented in the sample due to the war. Were they to be polled, the results would likely be much worse."


January 28 -- FAO -- FAO warns of rapidly deteriorating food security in Yemen

"The number of food insecure people has grown by 12 percent since June 2015 (36 percent since late 2014), according to the UN agency.

"Food insecurity and malnutrition are becoming highly critical," said Salah Elhajj Hassan, FAO Representative in Yemen, calling for urgent support to assist families in growing food and protect their livestock as well as measures to facilitate much-needed food and fuel imports.

"The numbers are staggering," added Etienne Peterschmitt, FAO Deputy Representative and Emergency Response Team Leader in Yemen, who called the situation "a forgotten crisis, with millions of people in urgent need across the country."

"Under these critical conditions, it's more important than ever to help families produce their own food and reduce their dependence on increasingly scarce and costly food imports," he added.


Crop production, livestock rearing and fisheries employ 50 percent of Yemen's workforce and are the main sources of livelihoods for two-thirds of the country. But a shortage of critical inputs like seeds and fertilizers have severely reduced crop production, with estimates suggesting the recent conflict has caused dramatic losses to the agriculture sector.

Diminishing income opportunities and disrupted markets are exacerbating the immense needs already present in Yemen prior to the current conflict. Livelihoods support is critical for rural population who are often out of reach from humanitarian assistance. Adding to the dire situation, Yemen was hit by two cyclones in November 2015, which heavily disrupted fishers' livelihoods along the country's coast lines."


January 26 -- AP -- UN panel on Yemen: Consider creating commission of inquiry

"The United Nations Security Council should consider creating an international commission of inquiry to investigate alleged human rights abuses by all sides in Yemen's conflict, a panel of U.N. experts says.

The Associated Press on Tuesday obtained a copy of the panel's annual report, which has not been released publicly. The panel monitors U.N. sanctions.

The report also says civilians in the Arab world's poorest country are suffering under tactics in the conflict that "constitute the prohibited use of starvation as a method of warfare." "


December 15 -- BBC -- Yemen crisis: How bad is the humanitarian situation?

"The destruction of infrastructure and restrictions on imports imposed by a Saudi-led coalition carrying out air strikes against the rebels have led to 21.2 million people being deprived of life-sustaining commodities and basic services.

On 18 November, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said it had verified 8,875 reports of human rights violations - an average of 43 every day.

After a visit to the country in August, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, declared: "Yemen after five months looks like Syria after five years."

The conflict has reached 21 out of 22 of Yemen's provinces and shows no sign of ending. More than 2.51 million people have been displaced internally - more than four times the number recorded at the beginning of 2015. An additional 121,000 people have fled the country.

An estimated 14.4 million are considered food insecure and 7.6 million severely food insecure, according to the WFP.

An estimated 3 million people now require treatment or preventive services for malnutrition. About 2 million are currently acutely malnourished, including 1.3 million children - 320,000 of whom are suffering from severe acute malnutrition."


December 15 -- UN OCHA -- Yemen: Food Security and Agriculture Cluster (as of December 2015)

(attachment pdf below)


November 23 -- Foreign Policy -- In Yemen, a Saudi War Fought With U.S. Help

"The unexploded cluster bombs are an increasingly common sight in Yemen’s farms and small villages, a visible reminder of Saudi Arabia’s continuing air war there – and of Washington’s large but little-known role in arming and fueling Riyadh’s warplanes."


September 23 -- Counterpunch -- Yemen as Laboratory: Why is the West So Silent About This Savage War?

"For six months there has been a blockade of food and fuel, and management of aid (even that through the UN) as part of war strategy, bombing of civilian, historical, educational, religious and medical targets, destruction of infrastructure from roads to electricity and water, and use of prohibited weapons.  All of this occurs in a country of over twenty million persons, which has no effective air defences – a country as open to aerial bombardment as Gaza. Yet as an Israeli Foreign Ministry official has pointed out, the principles of international humanitarian law systematically violated in Yemen are those invoked by UN bodies, governments, the Western media, and civil organisations when they charge Israel with the commission of war crimes in Gaza."


September 20 -- Independent -- Saudi blockade starves Yemen of vital supplies, as bombing raids continue

"Mr Kaye said: “This is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. From a scale point of view, it literally is the world’s biggest crisis. There are areas that are completely destroyed where people don’t have food, don’t have water.” ... The blockade was compounded in August when airstrikes hit the Red Sea port of Hodeida, the main point of entry for most goods into the north – which was controlled by the Houthis at the time of the attack. The majority of commercial vessels have since deemed the port too risky to enter. UN aid chief Stephen O’Brien condemned the attack as “unacceptable” and “in clear contravention of international humanitarian law”."


September 10 -- The Water Chanel -- Lack of Rain Raises Concern in Yemen

"Many farmers are finding the scarce rain difficult to cope with. Their crops have longingly awaited rainfall for months now. Most of the agricultural crops in Yemen are planted and irrigated using spate irrigation.   In addition to the Saudi-led air and naval blockade on Yemen, the lack of rainfall is hurting the the agricultural sector  in Yemen, as less fruits and vegetables are finding their way to local markets. Many Yemenis go to sleep hungry – if they can sleep at all – and a large portion of them are internally displaced or without jobs due to the ongoing crisis. ... Beside the lack of rain and the blockade there are many other major problems facing Yemen: A severe fuel and water shortage; civil war; the Saudi-led coalition’s airstrikes; anti-aircraft rounds falling on civilians; unexploded ordinance; monopolies on basic goods; food unavailability; and IDPs. This is only a part of the long list of misfortunes Yemenis have been forced to confront."


September 10 -- AntiWar -- Saudi Blockade Paralyzes Food Shipments to Yemen: Shippers Warn of Growing Risk of Famine as Imports Slow

"Many shipping companies have pulled out, since trying to deliver to Yemen means endless delays from the naval forces off the coast. Those who continue to try to deliver food warn of a growing risk of famine, particularly in the north, where the blockade is preventing virtually all shipments.  23 ships are parked off the cost of Hodeida alone, with no indication when or even if they’ll be allowed to dock. Even when they’re given the go-ahead, it’s difficult to make their deliveries since Saudi warplanes destroyed much of the port’s infrastructure in airstrikes, including the cranes that would usually lift huge cargoes of grain off the ships."


August 30 -- Global Research -- US and Saudi Arabia War Crimes, Indiscriminate Killing of Yemeni Civilians

"Saudi Arabia’s aggression against Yemen, the poorest country in the region, has been catastrophic for Yemen, which is all-but-defenseless. Backed by eight other Arab dictatorships and the US, the Saudi alliance has committed uncounted war crimes and crimes against humanity. The onslaught has killed more than 4,300 people (mostly civilians), subjected roughly half the Yemeni population to severe hunger and water scarcity, and laid waste to World Heritage sites among the oldest in the world."


August 24 -- Mondoweiss -- 4,500 killed in Yemen in 150 Days of Saudi-led bombing

"Approximately 4,500 people, many civilians, have been killed in Yemen since the Saudi-led coalition began bombing 150 days ago, according to the UN. 23,000 more have been wounded."


July 30 -- MintPressNews -- Saudi Arabia Weaponizes Humanitarian Aid In Yemen

"With fierce battles raging across Yemen, and as warplanes continue to rain lead onto heavily populated areas, Saudi Arabia has been looking for innovative ways to exert pressure onto the resistance movement. It is now withholding humanitarian aid to Yemen’s civilians to tame the growing insurrection movement against its rule and thus secure victory in the face of international law — all under the guise of the United Nations. The kingdom is holding hostage not just Yemen but to some extent the international community, using the United Nations’ humanitarian institutions to wage war. It’s using institutions meant to offer relief as a means of weaponizing aid."


July 28 -- Vice News -- As Yemenis Starve, Saudi Arabia is Accused of War Crimes in the Country

"As a unilateral 5-day humanitarian pause declared by the Saudi-led coalition bombing Yemen appeared to crumble, the aid group Oxfam said Tuesday that half of Yemen's population — almost 13 million people — is struggling to obtain food, and that some 6.5 million people are "on the brink of starvation."


July 28 -- OXFAM -- Blockade and violence in Yemen pushing an additional 25,000 people into hunger daily

"One in two people - nearly 13 million people - are now struggling to find enough to eat, and half of them are on the brink of starvation. This is an increase of 2.3 million people since the escalation in fighting and beginning of the blockade imposed by the Saudi-led coalition in March 2015. In a country that has historically faced food shortages, this is the highest ever recorded number of people living in hunger.  Philippe Clerc, Oxfam Country Director in Yemen said: “Since the start of the conflict every day that goes by without a ceasefire and full resumption of imports sees nearly 25,000 additional people going hungry in Yemen. As the warring parties continue to ignore calls for a ceasefire, the average family in Yemen is left wondering when their next meal will be - if they survive the bombs, they’re now running out of food. “ "


July 1 --- UN OCHA --- Yemen: highest emergency response level declared for six months

"Since the violence in Yemen escalated in March over 3,083 people have been killed and 14,324 have been injured, while over one million people have had to flee their homes. Three months into the conflict escalation, more than 21.1 million people – 4 in 5 Yemenis – now need some form of humanitarian assistance.

Of those, 11.7 million are targeted for assistance in the latest Humanitarian Response Plan. That is, provided that aid groups receive the US $1.4 billion required to carry out the planned and much-needed life-saving operations.

Nearly 13 million people live in food insecurity. Some 20.4 million are in need of assistance to access water/sanitation - of these, 9.4 million had their access to water cut or severely disrupted as a result of fuel shortages. This severely increases the risk of outbreaks of water-borne diseases including cholera."


June 5 -- Guardian -- Saudi-led naval blockade leaves 20m Yemenis facing humanitarian disaster

"The desperate shortage of food, water and medical supplies raises urgent questions over US and UK support for the Arab coalition’s intervention in the Yemeni civil war since March. Washington provides logistical and intelligence supportthrough a joint planning cell established with the Saudi military, who are leading the campaign. London has offered to help the Saudi military effort in “every practical way short of engaging in combat”."


April 27 --- Reuters --- Yemen struggles to import food as coalition navies hold up more ships

"Ship tracking and port data on Monday showed at least 10 ships, many carrying wheat and corn, were still waiting to enter Yemeni waters and discharge at ports including al-Saleef and the bigger Red Sea port of Hodaida, which is controlled by Houthis."


April 19 --- Bloomberg --- Yemenis Brave Air Raids as Civilian Cost of War Rises

"Across the country, food prices have doubled and fuel costs have risen four-fold. The price of 50 kilograms of flour has risen to $47 from $23 while a 20-liter canister of gasoline has shot up to about $125 from about $14. Prices matter little, though. With shuttered shops and sparse stocks, 'even those who have some savings can’t buy what they want,' said Nour Fadhal, a resident of Aden."


April 15 -- FAO --- Millions of Yemenis face food insecurity amidst escalating conflict

"Amidst escalating conflict at a crucial time in the country’s cropping season, almost 11 million people in Yemen are severely food insecure and millions more are at risk of not meeting their basic food needs, FAO said today."


April 17 -- Capital Press --- Turmoil in Yemen stalls 50,000 tons of PNW wheat

"Political turmoil in Yemen has stalled several container ships, including one containing about 50,000 metric tons of soft white wheat shipped from Portland. Yemen is a top importer of U.S. wheat, but its ranking is expected to go down as a result of the uncertainty, says Scott Yates, director of communications for the Washington Grain Commission."


April 15 -- Reuters --- Yemen war puts 2015 crop at risk, food security worsening - FAO

"Conflict in Yemen is disrupting the crop planting season and threatens to create food shortages, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Wednesday."

see also: UPDATE 1-Cargo ships stuck off Yemen as fighting worsens food supply


April 15 -- Antiwar --- Saudi Coalition Preventing Food Ships From Reaching Yemen

"One of the first measures taken by Saudi Arabia, when announcing its war against Yemen, was a full-scale naval blockade. For a nation that imports over 90% of its food, that was a devastating move, and one Saudi officials assured wouldn’t keep the food out of the country."


April 10 -- Common Dreams --- With Weapons Pouring In and Aid Locked Out, Yemeni Civilians 'Willfully Abandoned'

The aid group Oxfam warned on Wednesday, "Regular imports of food and fuel have not reached Yemen since the escalation in violence began two weeks ago, due to the closure of land, sea and air routes into the country." As a result, the organization said, food prices have doubled, fuel prices have quadrupled in some areas, and basic goods are running "dangerously low."


April 9 -- The Western Producer --- War disrupts flow of food into Yemen

"Food imports into the Arab world’s poorest country are grinding to a halt as the conflict in Yemen puts fragile supply chains under growing strain and commercial suppliers stay away."


April 6 -- Euronews --- Water and food shortages in Yemeni city of Aden amid ongoing battles


April 1 -- Al Jazeera --- Missile kills Yemen factory workers in Hodaida

"An explosion in Yemen's Red Sea port of Hodaida has killed 25 workers at a dairy factory, medical sources have said, in what appears to be one of the biggest cases of civilian deaths since the Saudi-led campaign against Houthi rebels."



Date: 2015-04-19

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