500 women expanding their livelihoods assets in the dairy value chain in Taizz

Nov 4, 2015

Taizz, 4 November 2015 – With support from UNDP and the Government of Japan, and in partnership with Spark, a community outreach event conducted to launch a resilience-building initiative aimed at economically empowering of 500 vulnerable women to establish their own start-up businesses in the dairy value chain in the districts of Al Ma'afer, Ash-Shamayateen, Al-Mawasit and Jabal Habashi of the conflict-affected Governorate of Taizz.  

Before the escalation of conflict in March 2015, 95% of dairy products were imported. This reliance on an essential food security contributor was significantly affected by import restrictions and closure of trade activities and markets which have occurred since the start of the crisis. Prompting for an import substitution model, the dairy value chain offers immediate livelihoods opportunities particularly geared towards Yemeni women which represented less than a third of the labour force before the war.

The community outreach meeting held today at the local council in Alturba city in Ash Shamayateen district involved 45 local stakeholders and presented the project objectives, activities, and preliminary findings of a dairy market assessment conducted across the targeted locations that identified income-generating opportunities.

"I am extremely pleased to see such a project targeting women during this critical time. This initiative will provide these women with an income source to support themselves and their families," said Ahmed Al-Asbahi, the manager of the Agricultural Office in Ash-Shamayateen district during the meeting.

The project targets 500 women which will develop entrepreneurial skills necessary to operate a dairy-based microenterprise for rural livelihoods diversification and earn income. The microbusinesses will include the production and sale of cheese, milk and laban and the beneficiaries will be trained on financial literacy and business skills, including milk processing and quality assurance to improve product quality, handling and packaging as well as designing of marketing and sales strategies. More than 60,000 people are expected to benefit from this intervention in 50 villages and neighborhoods in the targeted districts.

This initiative is part of a three-fold women economic empowerment programme supported by the Government of Japan in Taizz Governorate that includes emergency community-based cash-for-work for fast employment and rapid cash injection in the economy to stabilize livelihoods with the Social Fund for Development, developing the dairy sector into a value chain for increasing food security, and support midwifery micro-enterprises as social business.

“Women shoulder more responsibility for supporting their household families under current difficult circumstances.  I believe this project will help women in targeted areas strengthen their resilience and also contribute to food security in Yemen.” says H.E. Katsuyoshi Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan to Yemen.

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

To read more about UNDP Yemen’s work during the ongoing conflict, click here

Programme Specialist

Farah Abdessamad, Programme Specialist in Sana’a (Mobile: +967 712221959, farah.abdessamad@undp.org). 

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