UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- The situation in war-raged Yemen is "a catastrophe," David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), told reporters here Friday.

Noting that both the food security situation and the economic conditions in the country are "deteriorating," Beasley, head of the food aid arm of the United Nations, said that Yemen "is not on the brink of a catastrophe," stressing "this is a catastrophe."

Beasley has just finished a trip to Yemen and is staying at the UN headquarters in New York, briefing both the Security Council and reporters about the situation in Yemen.

Beasley told reporters that he was very much concerned with the overall situation in the country, noting that food prices are "skyrocketing," people have no cash and no jobs and the country has no "liquidity" to inject into the economy.

Efforts to avert mass starvation in war-torn Yemen will be doubled, the WFP announced last Friday.

About 8 million people in Yemen are in an "emergency situation," a category recognized as a step below famine, the WFP said.

It added that an upcoming assessment, later in November, is expected to show that as many as 14 million people will be in an emergency classification.

It indicates that half of Yemen's population is a step away from starvation, the WFP has warned lately.