Yemen Key Message Update: Spike in Prices of Poultry and Vegetable Products, Further Limiting Household Access to Nutrient-Dense Foods, July 2022 – Yemen
The reduction in the provision of humanitarian food aid in many areas has increased the dependence of many households on the market. At the same time, purchasing power is falling due to the continuous rise in prices. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) The results should remain widespread throughout the country; however, an increasing number of poor households are likely to face large food consumption deficits, leading to emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes in Hajjah, Marib, Lahj and Abyan during the off-season agricultural from August to October. By November, seasonal improvements in access to food and income from the main harvest will likely improve area-level outcomes in a crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) in Hajjah, Lahj and Abyan. However, given the high proportion of displaced households dependent on assistance, Marib is expected to remain in an emergency (IPC Phase 4) situation until January.
Livestock prices rose across the country before the Eid al-Adha holidays at the beginning of July. However, in WRI-controlled areas, price increases have been significant and beyond what is typical for this time of year, according to key informants. Given high prices and weakening purchasing power in the middle and better-off wealth groups, sheep sales were lower than normal in WRI-controlled areas. This has likely limited access to income for livestock owners at a time when livestock sales are generally the main source of household income.
Although 250,000 tonnes of wheat have been imported from India since April, government authorities in WRI-controlled areas and major local traders in the country continue to express concern over the low level of available stocks. At the end of July, traders estimated that the stocks available would be sufficient to meet the country’s consumption needs until September. The agreement between Ukraine and Russia, reached on July 23, to resume Ukrainian wheat exports has probably contributed to some optimism among market participants and, consequently, some downward pressure on prices wheat. However, even if the deal is successfully implemented imminently, Ukrainian wheat is unlikely to improve domestic supply in Yemen until October/November. The shortages will likely force traders to turn to more expensive Australian and US wheat for milling, which will further drive up prices and reduce domestic consumption as more households are squeezed out of the market.
Staple food prices were reported to have remained generally stable from June to July, according to key informants, although at significantly higher levels than at the same time last year. However, prices for poultry products (live chickens and eggs) increased across the country in June and July. In SBA-controlled areas where most poultry products are produced, price increases are driven by rising production costs, which are linked to some typical increases due to warmer summer temperatures and some atypical increases due to higher poultry feed prices (which were previously mainly imported from Russia and/or Ukraine). In WRI-controlled areas, prices have increased even more due to the recent increase in taxes on chickens and eggs at checkpoints. According to key informants, egg prices have increased by more than 20% in Aden. This further limits access to important sources of protein and nutrients for millions of households.
Above-average rainfall in July replenished water sources for irrigation of agricultural land, generally contributing positively to rainfed agricultural production. However, heavy rains in mountainous areas caused localized crop damage and prevented many farmers from harvesting their produce, as vegetable prices rose across the country in early July, at least in part due to reduced supply. . In addition, flash flooding in July caused extensive damage to public infrastructure, homes and property. The governorates of Sana’a, Sa’adah, Amran, Sana’a City, Shabwah, Hadramout, Al Maharah and Hajjah were the most affected. According to OCHA, around 86,000 people were affected by the floods between 15 and 26 July, including at least 10,000 displaced families in Marib and 244 displaced families in Al Jawf who were severely affected. According to local authorities, at least 29 people, including children, were killed by the floods in Abyan, Al Mahwit, Dhamar, Raymah, Sanaa and Shabwah.