Violent conflict, now in its seventh year, has crippled Yemen’s economy and created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Over 24 million people (or 83 per cent of the total estimated population) are food insecure, including a staggering 16.2 million people in IPC Phase 3+ requiring emergency assistance. Food insecurity in Yemen is driven by constrained food production, supply and distribution and households’ diminishing purchasing power. An estimated 4.3 million people have fled their homes since the start of the conflict and 3.3 million remain internally displaced.
Hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition are among the most pressing and overwhelming challenges Yemen now faces - all at a scale that is not being fully met by national authorities and the international development and humanitarian communities. Low food access has resulted from a combination a high household dependence on food imports, high food prices and significantly reduced household income. It is estimated that Yemen imported 8 per cent less wheat per month between January and May 2020 than during the same period in 2019 due to limited funds, which is an insufficient amount of wheat to meet the 2020 consumption requirement.
In response to this deepening crisis, UNDP Yemen has partnered with the World Bank’s International Development Association, the Social Fund for Development and the Public Works Project to implement the Yemen Food Security Response and Resilience Project (FSRRP). FSRRP aims at improving household food security and building resilience by: increasing food availability and accessibility and preserving human capital and basic economic recovery.
The project will also directly contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through promoting livelihood interventions for food insecure populations through resilience-building measures. Climate-resilient irrigation and water conservation and management practices will restore degraded lands (including terracing) and replace affected water infrastructure with subsequent productive, climate-smart technology for agricultural production, allowing project participants to earn much needed income from their repair and maintenance through cash-for-work.
Despite women comprising approximately 60 per cent of labour for crop farming, 90 per cent for livestock breeding and 10 per cent of overall wage labour, they are also one of the most at risk groups to the effects of conflict, food insecurity, climate change and the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. As food prices and water scarcity continue to increase, women – as the primary domestic carers for their children, parents and spouse – are left with few options to feed their families adequately and safely.
FSRRP aims to provide Yemeni women with temporary employment opportunities through cash-for-work, with a target of 1,200 women participants (from 4,300). This will not only help them to generate income, but by economically empowering women, we can help to improve household living conditions.
Cash-for-work participants will support the rehabilitation of community agricultural which will improve access to water, irrigation, and renewed land and rural roads for farmers; making food more accessible and affordable.
Additionally, training and awareness raising opportunities will support women and girls by focusing on the development of new skills and, health and hygiene knowledge, including COVID-19 preventive measures. All cash-for-work employees will also complete compulsory training and awareness raising on occupational health and safety, gender based violence and sexual exploitation and abuse, to ensure the safety and respect of all workers.
The development objective of FSRRP is to improve the availability of and access to food and nutritious diets – both in the short and medium term – for targeted households in the project area. The objective will be achieved through the following outputs:
- Output 1: Income opportunities for targeted vulnerable households enhanced
- Output 2: Small-scale agricultural production community infrastructure rehabilitated
- Output 3: Project management, monitoring and learning ensured
- 18,800 food-insecure households (26,500 individual beneficiaries) with immediate access to food.
- 15,700 farmers with improved access to water infrastructure, irrigation networks, rehabilitated lands, and rehabilitated rural roads.
- 17,400 cubic metres of rainwater harvesting reservoirs will be constructed.
- 1,685 hectares of agricultural lands will be improved through rehabilitated irrigation channels and protection mechanism.
- 52 kilometres of rural roads will be paved to improve access to markets for farmers.