Food prices surge amid worsening crisis in Yemen

By Mohamed al-Samei

SANAA (AA) – Food prices have significantly risen in conflict-ridden Yemen over the past few weeks, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has said.

"There has been another sharp increase in the price of food and other essential goods in Yemen," WFP Yemen said in a statement on Twitter Wednesday. "Prices are becoming increasingly inaccessible for millions."

It attributed the food inflation to the devaluation of the local currency.

"The value of the Yemeni riyal has dropped 15 percent in the south and about 7 percent in the north in the last 5 weeks," it said. "This made life even harder for many families in Yemen, particularly those living across frontlines."

Locals confirmed the depreciation of the riyal, saying there had been a noticeable rise in the price of consumer goods.

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014 when Iranian-backed Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

Since then, tens of thousands of Yemenis, including numerous civilians, are believed to have been killed in the conflict, while another 14 million are at risk of starvation, according to the UN.