Saeed Ali proudly standing in the middle of his home garden. He holds a pod of his crop of okra. | Photo credit: UNDP Yemen/2021

With close to 4 million Yemenis displaced by the war since 2015, many people have lost their home and their income. They now struggle to secure shelter and provide for themselves and their families.

To support war-impacted communities and lift thousands of Yemeni families out of extreme poverty and unemployment, the European Union has funded the Social Protection for Community Resilience Project (SPCRP) since 2017.

Managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and implemented in partnership with the Social Fund for Development (SFD), the project works to provide income generating opportunities while restoring basic community services through cash-for-work.

SPCRP’s cash-for-work supports work to help communities lift themselves out of poverty and restores their hope within an on-going war.

Banishing the Specter of Hunger

As famine looms on the horizon of war-torn Yemen, SPCRP introduced a country-wide cash-for-work project in many forms including the form of home vegetable gardens – including in the Habil Barq village located in the southern governorate of Abyan. The home vegetable gardens intended to provide project participants with a sustainable source of income and employment opportunities close to their home, helping them get back on their feet.

Saeed Ali, once a daily-wage farmer, saw his life turned upside down because of the conflict. At 32, he had been working for other farmers for over two years. “I was not able to meet my family’s needs before the home garden cash-for-work project,” admits Saeed.

“I joined with my wife, Fatima, and we reaped our first harvest after only three months. We grow okra, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, radish, green onions, and corn. Now I am able to feed my family and sell the excess at the local market,” explains Saeed.

Through cash-for-work, Saeed and Fatima received YER 370,000 (€ 358) that they spent on gardening tools and supplies. “In the past, we did not have regular meals, but now we always have enough. The garden saves us additional costs and effort. Now instead of going all the way to the distant market to buy food, we get all the fresh produce we need from our home garden,” says Saeed confidently.

SPCRP home gardens support war-impacted communities in Abyan's Habil Barq village. | Photo credit: UNDP Yemen/2021

 

The project supported Saeed and other families in meeting their needs, earning a more stable income, and becoming more self-sufficient. “If it wasn’t for the cash-for-work project, I would still be struggling to feed my family. But instead we eat from our garden and make money for other family essentials,” adds Saeed as he hugs his baby girl. “I hope the project continues to help others in need.”

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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 US$28 million SPCRP enhanced 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.

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