UNDP and the Government of Japan renew partnership to support stabilization of conflict-affected communities

Mar 22, 2017

Youth in Craiter District, Aden Governorate - 2016. Photo by: Maged Ali

Aden, 23 March 2017 – UNDP and the Government of Japan launched today an emergency 12-month Yemen Stabilisation Programme aimed at providing critical recovery support to stabilise conflict-affected districts of Attawahi, Crater and al-Mualla, in Aden Governorate.

Over 2 million people have been displaced since March 2015 and 1 million former internally displaced persons (IDPs) have recently returned to their area of origin. Four out of the five districts hosting the largest numbers of returnees are in Aden Governorate.

“It is very important to bring back normalcy to the lives of citizens in Aden. UNDP works to improve economic livelihoods, provision of basic services of the most vulnerable populations to stabilise their communities,” said Auke Lootsma, Country Director. “The launch of the Japan-funded activities marks the beginning of the roll-out of our stabilisation programme in Aden, Abyan, and Lahj governorates,” he continued.

A joint task force on Population Movement led by IOM and UNHCR revealed that 31 % of returnees place financial support (19%) or access to income (12%) as their top priority pointing out to dire living conditions and disrupted livelihoods. Perceived security, access to income and the availability of services play a leading role for decisions over returning, and where to return to. In 83% of areas surveyed, longer-term intentions of IDPs were conditional upon the prevailing security situation. Similarly, security and safety represented the main factor affecting returnee livelihoods in 75% of areas, influencing over their decision to stay (75%). They need to find quick ways to reintegrate in their communities, reconnect and recover trust.

A rapid integrated assessment led by UNDP in 2015 established that confidence between the citizens and state institutions ranked low. In Aden, over 70% of surveyed citizens reported low trust in formal institutions. Exposure to violence and fighting was reported by Adenis in similar proportions.

“Security and stability top the list of priorities. If there is security and stability, there will be prosperity”, said one focus group respondent in Aden as early as September 2015.

In partnership with the Government of Japan, UNDP will work closely with local authorities and community partners to tackle the multi-dimensional aspects of stabilisation that can address root causes and prevent conflict reoccurrence. For the first phase of the Yemen Stabilisation Programme, UNDP will conduct stabilisation assessments to generate needs-based opportunities for the priority districts of Attawahi, Crater and al-Mualla. Income-generating and protection concerns of vulnerable groups, chiefly displaced returnees, women and youth at risk, will be supported to indirectly benefit 2,800 individuals through vocational training and small grants to promote demand-driven business creation and revive local economies, develop capacities of formal and informal protection actors to improve responsiveness to increasing needs with a focus on the specific needs of women, and support youth-led initiatives to promote dialogue and tolerance in their neighbourhoods.

“Recovery of local community lives would be one of the essential factors to stabilise the areas affected by conflicts. We are pleased to be a partner of UNDP in initiating this important Stabilisation Programme for districts in Aden”, said H.E. Hayashi Katsuyoshi.

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

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Programme Officer

Khaled Magead, Programme Officer, Governance and Peacebuilding Team (Mobile: +967 712222320, khaled.magead@undp.org), or Sylvain Merlen, Head of Aden Sub-Office, (Mobile: +967 712221517,  sylvain.merlen@undp.org)  

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