Climate Change Deepens Food Insecurity Crisis in Yemen

Sheba Intelligence | 2023-12-27 03:24 PM UTC



Yemen's civil war has created armies of food-insecure people over the past years, and climate change has exacerbated the food insecurity crisis in the country.


The Minister of Water and Environment in the internationally recognized Yemeni government, Tawfiq Al-Sharjabi, said on Wednesday that climate changes have negatively affected food production in Yemen, which has been ravaged by hostilities and political instability over the past ten years.


Explaining the most affected sectors by climate change, Al-Sharjabi stated, "During the last decade, climate change has had disastrous effects on the environment in general and on agricultural, fish, and animal production in particular."


He cited multiple examples demonstrating the magnitude of climate change impact, including high temperatures, prolonged drought, fluctuating rainfall, changing the planting and harvesting seasons, hurricanes, torrential floods, significant deterioration of agricultural soil, and depletion and pollution of water sources.


According to the Yemeni official, such climate changes have forced the population to move from their original places in search of water and services.  


Food insecurity remains a formidable challenge in Yemen in light of the continuing conflict, climate change, and economic deterioration.


A recent report by the World Bank revealed that The number of Yemenis who go hungry every day has increased from 10.6 million to 17 million since the war broke out in 2014.


The report indicated that around three out of every four people in Yemen are involved in agriculture or livestock management and depend on it for their earnings. However, the agricultural sector faces challenges, including cyclones, desertification, and water scarcity.

It added, "These challenges are exacerbated by the unpredictable patterns of climate change, which brings erratic rainfall, flooding, and temperature fluctuations."

Given these challenges, Al-Sharjabi said Yemen needs many projects to confront climate change, given that this country is more sensitive to climate change, as proved by many expert reports.

To counter the impact of climate change, the government, with support from donor countries, has begun taking many measures and treatments to mitigate the aggravation of the effects of climate change on food security in Yemen.


On Tuesday, the Aden-based Ministry of Water and Irrigation said it had obtained international pledges of more than $160 million to confront the climate crisis and its impacts on Yemen. According to the ministry, the pledged financial support will be devoted to multiple domains, including water and food security, securing livelihoods in rural areas, managing natural reserves, and enabling Yemen to withstand climate change.


As Yemen is one of the world's most unstable countries, studies say it is among the world's most vulnerable nations to climate change and among the least prepared to mitigate or adapt to its effects.