World Bank approves $1.2 billion to 20 most food-insecure countries including Yemen [Archives:2008/1161/Local News]

May 5 2008

ROME, June 3) The World Bank has approved US $1.2 billion in emergency financial aid for the 20 countries most vulnerable to high food prices, including Yemen, at a three-day food security conference held by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome.

Last week, the World Bank created a program called the Global Food Crisis Response Facility to quickly get US $1.2 billion to struggling countries, which was a priority for discussion at the start of the high-level conference in Rome. The aid, which includes US $200 million of grants for especially vulnerable countries like Yemen, has already been put into operation here.

The World Bank estimated that another 100 million people could be pushed into poverty and starvation as a result of high and fluctuating global food prices. In Yemen alone, another six percent of the population – around one million people – has already fallen below the poverty line, living on less than US $2 each day. Approximately one in five people are malnourished in Yemen, though with rising food prices, this number is likely to increase.

The World Bank's emergency funds will go directly to a “safety net”” for the poor