Yemen Seeks New Wheat Suppliers to Overcome Food Crisis

Sana’a, MINA – Yemen is looking for new wheat suppliers as the World Food Program warns of cutting food aid for millions of people already living on the brink of starvation.

But an official and a major Yemeni importer said he would need help paying for increasingly expensive imports.

“The government and importers are looking for alternative markets to import wheat, such as Brazil and others to meet 45 percent of the wheat demand coming from Ukraine and Russia,” said Yemeni Trade Minister Mohammed Al-Ashwal, as quoted from MEMO on Wednesday (May 25).

The disruption of global grain supplies due to Russia’s war in Ukraine and a ban on exports from India risk deepening Yemen’s hunger crisis and pushing up food price inflation that has doubled in just two years in some parts of the country.

Ukraine and Russia are major grain exporters and the conflict has sent world wheat prices soaring. Yemen imports 90 percent of its food.

WFP Yemen director Richard Ragan said the number of people in the Arabian Peninsula country living in near-starvation conditions could rise to seven million in the second half of 2022 from around five million now.

The UN agency feeds 13 million people a month in Yemen whose economy has been devastated by years of war, but since January 2022 the WFP has reduced rations to eight million of them.

“We take food from the poor and feed the hungry,” said Ragan.

The seven-year war between the Saudi-led coalition and Yemen’s Houthi group led to a serious currency devaluation and a shortage of foreign reserves. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)