Yemeni Internally Displaced People Begin Ramadan Amid Skyrocketing Food Prices

Ramadan in Yemen is still tense, despite the cease-fire. Due to soaring food prices and inaccessibility, millions of refugees are at risk of starvation.

Yemeni IDPs
Illustration. During Ramadan, Yemeni IDPs are at risk of going hungry due to rising food prices. (AP/Hani Mohammad)

ACTNews, YEMENYemenis may breathe a little as a two-month UN-brokered cease-fire between the warring parties in Yemen came into force on Saturday night. However, people in the war-torn country are set to have an uptight holy month of Ramadan amid soaring food prices caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Xinhua news agency said poor Yemenis waited long for free food at charities on the first day of Ramadan, which starts on Sunday.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned earlier that millions of Yemeni people are at risk of famine due to years-long military conflict and a sharp deterioration of its economy.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has grain-producing areas, is inextricably linked to global food prices. Both countries are major food producers, providing the majority of the world's needs (including Yemen) in a variety of commodities including wheat, vegetable oil, and corn. The Russia-Ukraine conflict has generated one of Yemen's biggest humanitarian crises, as it is the poorest country in the Arab world.

Furthermore, Ukraine is the source of about a third of Yemen's wheat imports. These circumstances have fueled fears of a worsening famine.

Mohsen Saleh, a resident of the capital Sanaa, said that every year prices shoot up ahead of Ramadan. "But this year, they have increased crazily. People cannot take it. The economic situation is very difficult," the 43-year-old said. "Most people in Yemen are poor and exhausted," he added.[]