Samia while practicing with her mates in the sewing learning center

Since 2015, conflict has pushed Yemen deeper into poverty and increased the vulnerability of a country that was already among the lowest-ranking on the Human Development Index.  Conflict has resulted in the loss of jobs and income-sources – as well as the loss of lives, which has had dramatic effects on household livelihoods.

This was the case for Samia – a young woman whose family had depended on her father’s salary.  When a landmine suddenly took her father’s life, the Abyan family was unable to meet basic needs – including education.

More than 80 per cent of Yemenis live below the poverty line; and struggling families sometimes forced to resort to negative coping mechanisms – such as pulling children out of school.  Currently, 36 per cent of school-age girls and 24 per cent of boys do not attend school; and enrolment in primary school has fallen to just 41.5 per cent. 

To help limit the impact of this crisis, UNDP’s Enhanced Rural Resilience in Yemen project provides training and skills development opportunities in vulnerable communities.  This equips participants for employment or to launch their own businesses.  With the income they generate, they are able to provide basic necessities for their families while contributing to their local economies and ultimately building stronger communities.

Trained to make and market her own handicrafts, Samia is now employed as a seamstress.  This has enabled her to provide for her family and has given her a sense of security. Moreover, she says, she feels she has the skills she requires to start her own business and she intends to do so, in the future. 

To date, 3,577 people have been equipped with new skills and started their own as a result of participation in the project.    


Funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, the Enhanced Rural Resilience in Yemen project is implemented by UNDP in partnership with the For All Foundation (FAF).  The US$5,732,538 project designed to help build communities of people who are personally and financially secure, and therefore prepared for risks and shocks; and institutions that are able to provide basic services, and make sure that human needs are met.


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