Cairo. - The World Bank and FAO have launched a $36 million project aimed at providing immediate assistance to over 630,000 poor and food-insecure people in Yemen - more than 30 percent of whom are women - as well as increasing longer term agricultural resilience in the conflict-ridden country.
The grant funds for the three-year "Smallholder Agricultural Production Restoration and Enhancement Project (SAPREP)" come from the World Bank's Global Agriculture Food Security Program (GAFSP).
With an estimated 17 million people facing Emergency or Crisis levels of acute food insecurity, Yemen is currently experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The ongoing conflict has severely affected the agriculture sector and has had a devastating impact on the food security, nutrition and livelihood of Yemenis.
The grant will enable FAO to support priority projects, such as those in the areas of providing food-security support and rehabilitation of water resources that will increase smallholders' production, income and nutrition, as well as build the capacity of stakeholders involved in various projects related to the grant. The target areas will consist of 21 of the most food-insecure districts in the country, with those receiving special focus consisting of landless farmers with no or few livestock, sharecroppers, smallholder famers and households headed by women and affected by conflict.
"The project will have a strong humanitarian impact in Yemen, as it will provide emergency support and help in building the resilience of the vulnerable Yemeni population," said Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa. "Since agriculture is one of the most important economic sectors in Yemen, reviving agricultural activities will increase people's access to food as well as income-generating activities, which means greater food security."
"But the project also goes beyond immediate humanitarian assistance," Ould Ahmed added. "The project will strengthen the capacities of the Yemen Social Development Fund, government agencies and local NGOs to restore the capacity of Yemeni farmers who lost their livelihoods due to ongoing conflict and ensure they will be able to maintain crucial access to their livelihood in years to come."
FAO AND WORLD BANK PARTNERSHIP
"The World Bank grant that FAO has received in Yemen will go a long way in helping us provide sustainable agricultural solutions - furthering rural development, providing food security, rehabilitating community water infrastructures and improving capacity development in a country where millions of people are food insecure," said Salah El-Hajj Hassan, FAO Country Representative in Yemen."The implementation of the project will also allow FAO to build on previous projects, such as those empowering women to become more involved in conflict resolution issues," he added. "Given the ongoing hostilities in Yemen, this project could also contribute to bringing stability to the country."FAO's Work in YemenFAO currently operates in 13 governorates in Yemen, including all the governorates hosting the largest number of food-insecure households. In 2017, FAO is aiming to support more than 3 million of the most food- and nutrition-insecure people in the most-affected governorates in Yemen and has already vaccinated more than 1 million livestock.