Moayad Hameidi, a Jordanian national, was working in Turbah, in the country’s southwest. He came under fire on Friday afternoon, and the identify of the assailants is not yet known.
WFP released a statement expressing deep sadness at the news, noting that he had only recently arrived in Yemen to assume a new job as head of the agency’s office in Taiz.
Since 2015, a Saudi-led coalition supporting the internationally-recognized Government has been battling for control of the Arab nation, with Houthi militia, who control the capital and much of northern Yemen.
Taiz is the country’s third largest city and has been under siege by Houthi rebels for around seven years, creating a blockade for essential goods and humanitarian supplies for the city’s residents.
Tens of thousands of civilians have died during the grinding conflict and the UN estimates that 17 million people are still food insecure across Yemen, with projections showing that by the end of this year the number suffering high levels of acute food insecurity could rise to 3.9 million.
Food assistance from WFP is crucial to avoid potential famine and a lingering food security crisis.
The agency described Mr. Hameidi, who had worked for WFP for 18 years as a “dedicated humanitarian”. He had served previously in Yemen, as well as in Sudan, Syria, and Iraq.
“The loss of our colleague is a profound tragedy for our organization and the humanitarian community,” said Richard Ragan, WFP Representative and Country Director in Yemen. “Any loss of life in humanitarian service is an unacceptable tragedy.”