Aden and Lahj, Yemen: With support from the Government of Japan, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a mobile application to provide guidance to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) survivors across Yemen. Already challenged by historic disparities, the civil war in Yemen has exacerbated issues faced by women, including increased violence and unstable access to critical services such as healthcare, energy, water, and food.
Violence against women and girls has increased 63% since the start of the war in 2015. In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic – and subsequent lockdown measures to prevent its spread – further exacerbated the issue. Globally, we witnessed a significant rise in the number of GBV cases as well as children facing a heightened risk of abuse and neglect due to school closures, limited access to basic services, deterioration of the home environment, and the loss of caregivers due to isolation or death.
The referral service application maps out protection and aid services for GBV survivors across Yemen. The application can be refined by geographical area and divides services into several categories including livelihoods, education, psycho-social support, legal services, food, and healthcare.
After piloting the application in early 2020 in the Aden and Lahj Governorates, the application was rolled out across the country in December to ease access for all Yemenis requiring GBV support.
“By making protection, legal, and aid services available to everyone - whenever and wherever they are needed – we can start to build support for Yemenis, regardless of gender, age, location, or socio-economic situation. The application provides service provider information in an easy-to-use interface appropriate for the cultural and educational backgrounds of users,” explains UNDP’s Project Manager, Arvind Kumar.
National and International actors will continue to update the database of the services listed in the application and to complete quarterly reviews to ensure the available services are accurate and up-to-date.
Funded by the Government of Japan and co-implemented with For All Foundation, UNDP’s Livelihood and Human Security (YLHS) project contributes to the overall stability of Yemeni governorates, by empowering communities to recover from conflict and build resilience against future shocks. The aim of the project is to strengthen protection, security and safety measures, boost livelihoods opportunities and rehabilitate basic services at the community-level, improving community stability and encouraging the return of displaced Yemenis.
 Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/covid-19-exacerbates-effects-water-shortages-women-yemen