Ongoing conflicts in Yemen have led to the displacement of over three million people in various governorates, making them Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). To support those vulnerable communities in need, the European Union-funded Social Protection for Community Resilience (SPCRP) has been working in Yemen since mid-2017.
Bashir Naji is one example of a previously vulnerable person who lost his living to the ongoing conflicts. The 30-year-old father heads a family of four – a wife and three young daughters – that depended mainly on his work as a clothing sidewalk vendor in the city of Aden.
In 2015, when armed clashes swarmed Aden, Bashir and others were forced to flee to seek safer refuge. Bashir fled to his family in the village of Jabal Zaid in Taiz governorate. “I suddenly found myself jobless after working for years. I even had to stop sending my daughters to school because I couldn’t afford it anymore,” said Bashir with pain. “I can’t even go to villages nearby to look for work because of the ongoing armed clashes and the threat of landmines. I was totally helpless!” he added.
“We have previously received ‘unconditional cash assistance’, but it didn’t have the same impact on hour lives. We spent the money with no thought for investment in our future,” said Basheer.
To support war-affected households in the Jabal Zaid village, the Social Fund for Development (SFD) introduced the Home Vegetable Garden Cash-for-Work Project as part of the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Social Protection for Community Resilience Project (SPCRP). The project supports vulnerable households with work opportunities and sustainable sources of food and income near their homes to keep them safe and away of harm.
“SFD provided me with okra seeds and a down payment to start planting my own vegetable garden. I planted a plot of land with the help and supervision of the project consultants, who visited me every week to check on the garden and provide me with guidance,” said Bashir. “Within forty days my home garden was already producing okra. My first harvest was only one bucket of okra, then one basket, and now it’s three baskets that I can sell at the local market for YER 3000 (approximately Euro 6) a basket,” he added with pride.
Through the project, Bashir received YER 148,000 (approximately Euro 279) of cash-for-work payments, which he used to improve his garden and provide for the needs of his family. “I now work in my own garden and get paid for it too; I enjoy working for the money I receive. SFD taught me how to plant and look after my crops and now I want to expand my farm and plant other crops such as tomatoes, zucchini and pepper,” said Bashir.
“I’m proud of my success and I’m so grateful for the support I received. I hope SFD will continue to support people in need and teach them skills like these to help them live,” he concluded.
In addition to Bashir’s family, the Social Protection for Community Resilience Project (SPCRP) helped support 571 displaced households and helped create 470 home vegetable gardens.
The Social Protection for Community Resilience Project (SPCRP) is funded and supported by the European Union (EU) and implemented in partnership with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and The Social Fund for Development (SFD). The USD$28 million SPCRP aims to enhance the purchasing capacity of vulnerable communities while restoring community infrastructure and improving access to and delivery of key services through short-term employment, provision of solar energy equipment, rehabilitating healthcare facilities, and building the capacities of communities and local authorities.