With 60% of Yemenis Food Insecure, Yemen Government Disregards Poland's Food Aid

2023-10-02 08:29 PM UTC



   The Polish government withdrew its 40000-tonne wheat grant to Yemen, a decision taken after about eight months of waiting for the Yemeni government to find a way to transport the shipment to war-ravaged Yemen, where millions experience food insecurity.

The declaration of the grant withdrawal has sparked a public outcry in Yemen and presented another example of the Yemeni government's corruption and irresponsibility.

A memorandum from the Embassy of Yemen in Poland, dated February 2023, said the State of Poland provided a 20000-tonne grant to the Yemeni people, and in May 2023, the quantity was raised to 40000 tonnes. The Embassy urged the government to take the necessary action to secure the transportation of the shipment to Yemen.

However, time passed, and the Aden-based concerned authorities devised no practical plan for transporting the wheat shipment. The Ministry of International Cooperation and Planning asked the World Food Program to transport the wheat shipment from Poland to Yemen, saying the government did not have the financial resources to pay for the shipment transportation. The WFP apologized, saying it could not afford to bear the expenses of transporting, packaging, and distributing the shipment to the beneficiaries in all governorates of Yemen.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade signed a contract with a UAE-based company to transport the wheat shipment in return for part of it. However, the ministry indicated that Prime Minister Muaeen Abdulmalek refused to approve the contract concluded between the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the company.

The price of wheat shipment is estimated at US$14 million. Despite that, the Yemeni government did not take any action to allocate US$2 million to transport the shipment. With this abject failure to solve this simple matter, countless Yemenis have called for a transparent investigation.

 After nine years of conflict in Yemen, seventeen million people, roughly 60% of the population, are facing crisis level or acute food insecurity conditions as of March 2023, according to World Bank reports.

Yemenis' reliance on agriculture has also dropped over the past years of war, and the agriculture sector sustained enormous losses estimated at 111 billion dollars. Simultaneously, Yemen imports 90 percent of its food commodities. Given these frustrating numbers about food insecurity in Yemen, the failure of the Yemeni government to transport the wheat shipment grant from Poland is emblematic of the Yemeni officials' disregard for humanitarian suffering and their involvement in exacerbating the ordeal of civilians.