WFP is preparing to feed 3.5 million vulnerable people in Yemen in 2012, it stated in a news release. This includes people who have been pushed into hunger in the wake of sharp hikes in food prices and displacement in the northern and the southern regions of the country. The agency is especially prioritizing 1.8 million severely food insecure Yemenis living in the poorest 14 governorates, including 635,000 women and children under the age of five. The estimated total cost of this food assistance is $207 million. WFP’s efforts in the country have received a boost with a $31 million contribution from Germany, during what the agency’s representative there, Lubna Alaman, described as an “increasingly dire” situation.“This remarkable contribution was perfectly timed as we are embarking on the scaling up of our assistance in response to the growing needs of Yemen,” she stated.According to the agency, Yemen is in the midst of an “increasingly complex, full-fledged humanitarian crisis,” with recent civil unrest, soaring food and fuel prices and a breakdown in social services worsening an already critical humanitarian situation. The German contribution will enable WFP to distribute more than 20,000 metric tons of food commodities such as fortified wheat flour, oil, and specialized nutritional products for severely malnourished children. It will also support the agency’s Food for Girls’ Education programme, which provides take-home food rations as an incentive for families to keep girls in schools. “The ongoing support of Germany goes a long way in helping WFP to respond to the critical food security crisis and begin to close the hunger gap in Yemen,” said Ms. Alaman. 18 January 2012The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is set to scale up its assistance in response to the growing needs in Yemen, which it said is in the midst of a full-fledged humanitarian crisis owing to civil unrest, soaring food and fuel prices and a breakdown in social services.