On the 21st of December 2021, The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved two grants for a total of US$170 million to restore critical urban services in Yemen, boost climate resilience and address food insecurity in rural areas through improved road access. These grants will support two projects – a second phase of the Yemen Integrated Urban Services Emergency Project II and the Yemen Emergency Lifeline Connectivity Project.
After six years of escalating conflict, the Republic of Yemen (RoY) continues to face an unprecedented humanitarian, social, and economic crisis. There are 24 million Yemenis requiring humanitarian assistance, 3.6 million internally displaced, and the worst recorded cholera epidemic in modern history. Yemen’s cities have been very badly impacted by the conflict, with widespread destruction of urban infrastructure, and a breakdown of basic government functions. Since the start of the conflict, basic urban services including water supply, solid waste management and electricity have been interrupted in many cities.
Yemen Integrated Urban Services Emergency Project II
The World Bank has recently completed the Yemen Integrated Urban Services Emergency Project (YIUSEP) implemented through UNOPS in collaboration with local partners in Yemeni cities. YIUSEP restored access to critical urban services (WASH, electricity, municipal services, transportation, and solid waste management (SWM)), benefiting 3 million people in cities across Yemen by creating 1.5 million person-days of work, restoring 240 kilometers of work, and helping 1.2 million people gain access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services. YIUSEP introduced solid waste cleaning campaigns to reduce health hazards, mitigate flood risk and improve quality of life in several cities.
In light of Yemen’s immense unmet needs for urban infrastructure and service delivery, In June 2021 the World Bank approved the Yemen Integrated Urban Services Emergency Project II (YIUSEP II) project to continue restoring urban services, with sub-projects proposed for Sana’a, Aden, Dhamar, Amran, Sa’ada, Al Hodeidah, Zinjibar, Al Mukalla, Al Dhale’e, Taiz and Lahj.
YIUSEP II was launched in June 2021, initially a US$50 million IDA operation designed to restore urban services to an estimated 1.5 million people affected by flooding as well as conflict. The new funding will scale up activities supported by the original project, with a greater focus:
- Building cities’ resilience to climate change
- Supporting the restoration of critical urban services impacted by the conflict and by recent flooding
- Reducing the gender gap by providing women with opportunities to start a business and to get a job and will offer training to prospective women-owned businesses (WOB) and offer them support to register a business.
- Rehabilitation of waste transfer stations, landfill rehabilitation measures, and capacity development and direct institutional support to Local Cleaning Funds responsible for SWM services.
Yemen Emergency Lifeline Connectivity Project
This new project will address food insecurity in rural areas by helping to improve road access for people living in isolated villages and to farmers who have been unable to get their products to market due to a lack of all-weather roads. The project is also expected to provide direct employment opportunities, get food aid to the most vulnerable more quickly and reduce food prices because of lower transportation costs offered by improved roads.
The newly approved funds bring the total International Development Association grants for Yemen to US$2.89 billion since 2016. In addition to funding, the World Bank provides technical expertise to design projects and helps put them in place by developing partnerships with UN agencies and local partners working on the ground.