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Yemen: 35% rise in food prices due to COVID-19

June 30, 2020 at 11:09 am

Food aid sent by World Food Program (WFP) is being distributed to needy people in Yemeni capital city Sanaa on 3 June, 2020 [Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency]

Food prices have increased by 35 per cent in some areas of Yemen since the start of the coronavirus crisis on 10 April, the UN warned yesterday.

In a statement, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen, explained that “the cost of the minimum food basket has risen by as much as 35 per cent in some areas since the outbreak of COVID-19 while the Yemeni rial devalues.”

The demand for food and fuel to operate generators in hospitals and other facilities has also significantly increased.

All data indicates that the virus is spreading rapidly throughout the country with many people who have symptoms not seeking medical help until their condition worsens because treatment centres are not accessible, it explained.

UNICEF: 2.4m children in Yemen at risk of starvation

“All indicators point to the continued rapid transmission of COVID-19 across the country and that too often, people who are symptomatic are delaying seeking treatment until their condition is serious because treatment centres are inaccessible, fear of stigma, and the perceived risks of seeking care. “

“The recent fuel crisis is already threatening access to food, hospital operations and water supplies which are fuel-dependent and crucial to preventing virus transmission and response, and presents a further obstacle to people seeking treatment. “

According to Worldometer, Yemen has   1,128 cases of coronavirus with 304 deaths. The numbers do not include those infected in areas under Houthi control. As of 18 May, the movement had announced only four cases of infection, including one death, amid official and popular accusations that it is withholding the true number of victims.