Youth project provides jobs to displaced people in Yemen

Sep 2, 2015

Youth in Yemen help with trash removal. Photo: UNDP

Sana'a – A community based youth project was launched in Hajjah Governorate this week providing awareness around water and sanitation issues among 323 internally displaced women and men.

The cash for work project aims to help with trash removal and provide temporary employment as part of a wider youth initiative by UNDP and the Millennium Development Foundation, aiming to support young entrepreneurs in Yemen.

The Hajjah Governorate is facing a continual flow of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have fled fighting around Sana’a, Hajjah City, Sada’a and other war-affected areas. This has put a strain on precious water resources and led to an increasing number of young people without jobs.

“By providing vulnerable youth with immediate and sustainable income, this initiative helps to build resilience against shocks from the ongoing war," says UNDP's project leader Farah Abdessamad.

"Unemployment rates have increased drastically, so by providing this temporary employment for youth it helps to restore local economies, creates more stability and lessens dependence on humanitarian assistance," she added.

More than 20 million people lack access to adequate water, sanitation and hygiene across Yemen, an increase by 52 percent since the conflict started in March. Yemen was already struggling with over 50 percent unemployment rate before the conflict. Although there is a lack of up to date data, the increasing number of people displaced by conflict has only exacerbated this trend and had a devastating impact on the economy.

In 2014 alone, the project has impacted the lives of over 820,000 individuals across Yemen by promoting entrepreneurship, and advocating for improved water, sanitation and hygiene practices. Improving living conditions in rural villages and promoting innovation among young people can help create jobs and provide skills to struggling communities. One such example is a community radio programme in Aden, Lahj and Abyan. The initiative is supported by the Government of Japan, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Korea, the UN PeaceBuilding Fund, Silatech and Spark.

UNDP is currently realigning existing projects and budgets in Yemen to empower affected communities and to help them cope, develop their own resilience mechanisms, rebuild, recover and protect development gains.

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