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Assessing food security in Yemen

  • Ecker, Olivier
  • Breisinger, Clemens
  • McCool, Christen
  • Diao, Xinshen
  • Funes, Jose
  • You, Liangzhi
  • Yu, Bingxin

The lack of updated information about food security is of concern to many countries, especially during and after economic crises, natural disasters, and conflicts. In this paper we present an analytical framework for assessing the effects of such crises on food security. This methodology can compensate for the lack of recent data in the aftermath of various crisis situations and thus provide important information to policymakers. We apply this methodology to Yemen, a country where the recent food price crisis and global economic recession have been especially damaging. Little is known about how the recent triple crisis (food, fuel, and financial crisis) has affected food security and what the current state of food security is on the macro- (national) and microlevels (local). The results of our findings suggest an alarming state of food insecurity. Food security at the macrolevel has dramatically deteriorated in recent years, and it is projected that the country will remain highly vulnerable to external shocks in the future if no action is taken. At the household level we found that 32.1 percent of the population in Yemen is food insecure and that 57.9 percent of all children are malnourished. Rural-urban inequalities are high in Yemen. The number of food-insecure people living in rural areas (37.3 percent) is more than five times higher than in urban areas (17.7 percent). Underweight children and children with stunted growth are found more commonly in rural than urban areas. Major challenges for food security are the lack of job-creating growth within the oil-dependent economic structure; a distorted economic incentive system, coupled with an inefficient social transfer system rapidly depleting oil and water resources; and the growing production and consumption of qat.

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 982.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:982
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  1. Cudjoe, Godsway & Breisinger, Clemens & Diao, Xinshen, 2008. "Local impacts of a global crisis: Food price transmission and poverty impacts in Ghana," IFPRI discussion papers 842, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Wiesmann, Doris & Bassett, Lucy & Benson, Todd & Hoddinott, John, 2009. "Validation of the world food programme's food consumption score and alternative indicators of household food security:," IFPRI discussion papers 870, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Ivanic, Maros & Martin, Will, 2008. "Implications of higher global food prices for poverty in low-income countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4594, The World Bank.
  4. Diaz-Bonilla, Eugenio & Robinson, Sherman & Thomas, Marcelle, 2002. "On boxes, contents, and users," TMD discussion papers 82, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Breisinger, Clemens & Collion, Marie-Helen & Diao, Xinshen & Rondot, Pierre, 2010. "Impacts of the triple global crisis on growth and poverty in Yemen," IFPRI discussion papers 955, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Breisinger, Clemens & van Rheenen, Teunis & Ringler, Claudia & Nin Pratt, Alejandro & Minot, Nicholas & Aragon, Catherine & Yu, Bingxin & Ecker, Olivier & Zhu, Tingju, 2010. "Food security and economic development in the Middle East and North Africa," IFPRI discussion papers 985, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Ulimwengu, John M. & Funes, Jose & Headey, Derek D. & You, Liang, 2009. "Paving the Way for Development: The Impact of Road Infrastructure on Agricultural Production and Household Wealth in the Democratic Republic of Congo," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49292, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  8. Ulimwengu, John & Funes, Jose & Headey, Derek & You, Liangzhi, 2009. "Paving the way for development?: The impact of transport infrastructure on agricultural production and poverty reduction in the Democratic Republic of Congo," IFPRI discussion papers 944, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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