UNDP Country Director Mr Auke Lootsma visits debris management projects in Aden and meet key decision makersMar 25, 2017
Aden, 23 March 2017: The war in Yemen has generated a dire humanitarian situation with massive destruction to the country’s public and private buildings. Debris has accumulated, sometimes with hazardous explosive remnants of war (ERWs) under the rubble and their accumulation is one among many obstacles in the delivery of humanitarian assistance or the resumption of services in the areas where the conflict has subsided. UNDP, thanks to funding from Government of Japan to the project ‘Immediate Support to Solid Waste Management, Debris Removal, and to Women affected by War, through Cash for Work in Yemen’, is tackling such debris at key public institutions in several districts of Aden. So far 13,608 m3 of debris, roughly 6,500 truckloads, have been removed, sorted and safely disposed of. Employment created reached over 1,500 man-days for the labour intensive process of separating different categories of debris (concrete, steel, wood, etc.). The project aims to clear a total of 27,500 m3 at several destroyed public institutions of Aden such as hospitals, schools, districts executive and technical offices, paving the way for scarce public land to be re-built upon and for services to resume.
During this first visit to Aden Mr Auke Lootsma, the new Country Director for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), underlined UNDP deep concerns for the long term impact of the conflict on public services. The destruction, loss of life and aftermaths such as debris accumulation and associated delays makes it very difficult to keep public services working and to preserve the conditions for their recovery.
The current crisis in Yemen is not only a humanitarian crisis, but also a development crisis. Public institutions and civil services crucial to help affected population to cope with the crisis have severely deteriorated and find it difficult to restart full operations.
Mr Adnan Al-Kaf, acting Governor of Aden stated: “We thank the Government of Japan and UNDP for this important debris management activity and donors in general for the help provided to Aden to recover and rebuild better. We will continue to work closely with the UN and the international community and facilitate their work in all possible ways”
Mr Lootsma encouraged “initiatives such as the ones in Crater are very positive as they not only make a difference at the level of the neighbourhood, in areas where it is possible, they partially take off the scars of the fighting and have a positive impact on the society at large”. Mr Lootsma added that “if recovery is not attempted as early as possible and wherever it is possible, opportunities to preserve institutions and foster resilience will be squandered.”
Mr Lootsma also visited key decision makers including the Prime Minister, Minister of Civil Service, Deputy Minister of Interior, the acting Governor of the Central Bank, Abyan Governor, the acting Governors of Aden and Lahaj, Yemen Mine Action Center in Aden and interacted with community leaders to prepare continuing UNDP support to all Governorates in Yemen.