Supported by the United Nations and the World Bank Group: Yemeni Government and partners validate roadmap to improve rural livelihoods and employment for women, youth and marginalized groups

Oct 25, 2014

Ms. Mikiko Tanaka, UNDP Country Director speaking on behalf of the United Nations Country Team

Sana’a, the Government of Yemen requested support from the United Nations to accelerate progress on reducing poverty. Under a joint leadership by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Local Administration, partners and stakeholders have since August this year worked to identify bottlenecks hindering development. Through participatory consultations, a tool developed by UNDP and adopted by the United Nations Development Group known as the MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF) has been applied. Identified priorities and the way forward agreed upon was today presented to partners and stakeholders in Sana’a.

In line with transitional and National Dialogue Conference priorities, the Government focused acceleration efforts on employment for women and youth, and improving rural livelihoods. Poverty in Yemen remains pervasive, unemployment among 15-to-24-year-olds is close to 53 percent. More than 90 percent of Yemeni women of working age do not participate in the labor force, and more than 90 percent of those who do work, mostly rural women, work without pay. The Yemeni economy remains overwhelmingly rural. Reducing poverty through rural livelihoods and employment generation through private sector development would improve the standard of living of Yemeni families during critical periods of transition, within the framework of the Peace and National Partnership Agreement.

The recommendations recognize that intervention areas are nested in wider challenges, political stability and security being critical prerequisites for ending extreme poverty. The core of inclusive economic development for Yemen rests within the economic-political-security nexus of its transition. A multipronged strategy is imperative to ensure that no vulnerable demographic or social group stays at the margin. Interventions will aim at better enabling Yemeni youth workers to respond to the needs of the labor market as well supporting communities to develop and build on their already available assets. A special focus on access to finance for vulnerable groups in particular in rural areas has been identified. It is also recognized that in a country where over half of the population is poor, the role of social protection becomes crucial. The recommendations include concrete proposed solutions to fast-track impact and replicability nationwide with a range of cross-sectoral partners. Participatory consultations have been initiated in Taiz and Ibb governorates in Al Janad province, raising wider bottlenecks and solutions applicable throughout the country to generate catalytic results.

The Minister of Industry and Trade Dr. Saad Al-Deen Bin Taleb has emphasized on the significance of the national dialogue outcomes in particular decentralization. “Decentralization is crucial for the sustainable economy of the country,” Mr. Taleb concluded.  

The recommendations and identified way forward will inform discussions at the United Nations System Chief Executives Board Meeting in November this year, bringing together the UN Secretary General, the President of the World Bank Group as well as other Heads of the multilateral system. Yemen will be the first country from the Middle East and North African to be featured during this high-level forum.

“Inclusive development in Yemen which stimulates the economy and creates vital jobs for women, youth, and marginalized groups cannot come to light without a substantial improvement in skills development, promoting MSME growth and greater access to finance,”  said Ms. Mikiko Tanaka, UNDP Country Director speaking on behalf of the United Nations Country Team.

Contact information
Ms. Kawkab al-Thaibani, Youth Empowerment Project Communications/Advocacy National Specialist 
Mobile: (+967) 712221950
E-mail: kawkab.althaibani@undp.org 
Sana’a, 25 October 2014

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