Despite ongoing humanitarian assistance, 16.2 million Yemenis are food insecure. Despite access and security challenges, World Food Program (WFP) and its partners manage to deliver assistance to the vast majority of vulnerable people in Yemen. Amid reductions in funding in 2021, 12.5 unique Yemenis beneficiaries received assistance from the World Food Programme for food security.

Top 5 Funders to World Food Program in Yemen

The conflict in Yemen is entering its seventh year, making it one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. While there have been significant cuts to aid to Yemen in starting June 2020, partly due to COVID induced shrinkage in total foreign aid and partly due to systematic interference in relief operations by Houthi authorities, forcing aid agencies to cut food, health care, and water and sanitation support to millions of people in need. According to the November 2021 WFP Emergency Dashboard Report, 20.7 million Yemenis are currently in need of humanitarian support, 16.2 million people are food insecure and 47 thousand are living in famine-like conditions.

In 2021, Yemen received a total of $2.88 billion in funding, of which $1.18 billion (41%) went to the WFP.

1. The United States Government is currently the largest donor to the WFP activities, where they provided US$368,551,051 in 2021. Since 2020, the United States government has provided more than $630 million in humanitarian assistance to Yemen supporting interventions including emergency food assistance, medical treatment and vaccination support for children, emergency obstetric services for women, blankets and household goods for displaced families, and hygiene kits and water treatment supplies to reduce the spread of disease. This also includes support for vulnerable refugees and migrants living in Yemen.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid. USAID is works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.

2. The second largest donor to the WFP is the German government, which acts through the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ). In 2021, BMZ provided $136,698,714 for WFP activities, with $101,346,753 of this funding going to food security. Through its development cooperation, Germany has assisted Yemeni people in the field of health, sustainable development, food security, and efforts to strengthen civil society and empower women.

The BMZ is responsible for German development policy. A special focus for the BMZ is creating better opportunities in the countries where refugees originate, global food security, sustainable economic development and climate action.

3. European Commission stands as the 3rd largest donor to WFP activities with a contribution of $65,126,601 in 2021, with $62,717,400 of this funding going towards food security. Since the beginning of the war in 2015, the EU has contributed over €1.1 billion to respond to the crisis, including €692 million in humanitarian aid and €393 million in development assistance, among other funding. EU humanitarian aid includes food assistance, health care and education as well as water, shelter, and improved hygiene services in conflict-affected areas and to displaced populations. 

EuropeAid is the European Commission’s department for International Partnerships, which works to achieve sustainable development goals. It implements programmes and projects around the world, wherever assistance is needed and tailors its support to fit the region or country being helped.

4. While the United Kingdom slashed their aid contribution to Yemen by 60% in 2021, causing widespread criticism in the international community, the United Kingdom is the 4th largest donor to the WFP with a contribution of $31,818,182 in 2021 all of which went to food security.

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) formerly known as Department for International Development (DFID)is the UK government department responsible for protecting and promoting British interests around the world.

5. The Canadian government is the 5th largest donor to the WFP with a contribution of $24,622,716 in 2021, $20,386,876 of which went to food security. Since the start of the conflict in 2015, Canada has provided over $295 million in humanitarian funding to support food assistance, clean water and sanitation, shelter, protection and health care, including sexual and reproductive health services.

The Government of Canada is committed to contributing to a more just, inclusive, and sustainable world, in a gender-responsive manner.

World Food Program Main Activities in Yemen

Food Assistance

WFP provides nearly 13 million people with food assistance as in-kind rations of flour, pulses, oil, sugar, salt, or vouchers or cash to purchase the same quantity of food.

Cash Assistance 

Through this system, people receive cash equal to the value of a food basket, which will inject much-needed liquidity into the economy.

Nutrition Assistance

In response to the high acute, moderate and severe malnutrition rates among children, WFP is providing nutritional support to 3.3 million pregnant and nursing women and children under 5.

Livelihood Support

WFP is committed to building a sustainable future through projects to rebuild productive assets like roads, agricultural land, irrigation systems, schools and health facilities as well as training.

School Feeding

WFP provides daily nutritious snacks – either date bars or high energy biscuits – to 1.55 million school children. The programme focuses on areas that have been hard hit by conflict, leading to low levels of school attendance and poor food security.


The WFP-managed UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) continues to transport humanitarian aid workers between five key hubs. In addition, the Logistics Cluster facilitates regular sea and air transport for humanitarian cargo between Aden, Hodeidah, Sana’a and Djibouti.

The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  They are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

NO Comment 29th December 2021

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