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Food aid delivered to Yemen found to be unfit for human consumption

12 May 2017

Consumers International has written to the World Food Programme (WFP) to support a request from the Yemen Association for Consumer Protection (YACP), that the World Food Programme investigate the circumstances in which a recent shipment of food aid to Yemen was found to contain wheat unfit for human consumption. YACP have reported that the wheat was rotten and created a foul smell in the area.

The food aid in question was a shipment of 32,000 tons of American wheat. The condition of the wheat was discovered by local volunteers who informed YACP who then took action to ensure it was not distributed.

YACP has revealed that this is not the first time that poor quality food aid has been delivered to Yemen during the current crisis. In 2015, YACP wrote to the World Food Programme regarding a shipment of expired flour and called for monitoring processes to be improved to ensure all food aid is safe and complies with international standards.

The conflict in Yemen has left over half of the population in need of some form of humanitarian assistance and created one of the most serious food security emergencies in the world.

What action should be taken?

To ensure that Yemeni citizens can rely on food aid that is safe and fit for human consumption, Consumers International is supporting the request of YACP for the World Food Programme to:

  • Investigate the circumstances of the most recent incident
  • Review the procedures for monitoring the quality of food aid to ensure there isn’t a recurrence
  • Make the findings publicly available so that those responsible can be held to account

Amanda Long, Director General at Consumers International, said: “Consumers International fully supports the aims of the World Food Programme and their efforts to ensure that those in need receive suitable humanitarian assistance. At such a critical time when many in Yemen are unable to provide for themselves it is vital that Yemeni citizens can rely on safe and reliable food aid. We urge the World Food Programme to take the necessary steps to ensure there is no recurrence of this incident”. 

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