A new way of working in Yemen; helping Yemenis survive the crisis
A UNDP/WB Partnership
The extent of deterioration of basic services such as water, sanitation, agriculture and education had exhausted all available international humanitarian resources. The conflict has also exacerbated the country’s chronic poverty, resulting in a drastic increase in severe hunger and UNOCHA figures site 2 million children and 1.14 pregnant or lactating mothers suffer from acute malnutrition. The conflict has devastated the health care system, with 49 percent of health facilities not functioning or partially functioning. There are 10 health workers per 10,000 people in Yemen. Furthermore, the serious damage caused to the country’s water and sanitation infrastructure has exposed the population to water-borne diseases and other health risks.
To help Yemenis cope, ECRP has successfully created jobs by making use of existing capacities through the SFD and PWP. In 2018 alone, around 1,899 large-scale, cash-for-work sub-projects were implemented, benefiting nearly 3.4 million Yemenis.
These sub-projects created jobs for more than 344,550 people – 20 percent of whom are internally displaced and/or returnees. The jobs created are generally associated with the repair of key basic services for vulnerable people and communities, including the building of domestic water supply systems, protecting farmland to maintain optimal production, paving roads to provide safe access to healthcare and food, and rebuilding damaged schools for students to continue their education.
The project also works to ensure small businesses have an opportunity to stay afloat during the crisis, helping communities keep citizens employed and families fed. ECRP supported nine major national microfinance institutions so that more than 84,000 small business clients across Yemen – such as farmers, fishermen, midwives, grocers and pharmacists – can maintain access to financing and continue operating. Some 8,695 of these businesses were on the verge of collapse as a result of the conflict, but were revived with the project’s support.
The project has also approached the food crisis from new angles. Through joint interventions, 3,636 female community health promoters have been trained and contracted to work in health facilities. In 2018, they treated and educated nearly 300,000 mothers and children suffering from malnutrition.
The impact of ECRP across Yemen has been tremendous, helping the Yemeni people regain access to key services, earning wages to allow them to purchase basic necessities for themselves and their families, and – most importantly – restoring their dignity.