Overview

  • The ongoing conflict in Yemen has caused a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.  As of March 2017, an estimated 17 million Yemenis (about 60 percent of the total population) are estimated food insecure and a further 7 million severely food insecure. 

    Malnutrition has increased by 57 percent since 2015 and now affects close to 3.3 million people, 462,000 of which are children under five. The United Nations Children's Fund estimates that a child dies every ten minutes from preventable causes.

    About half of Yemen's population of about 26.8 million live in areas directly affected by the conflict. Over 21.1 million Yemenis (80 percent of the population) are in need of humanitarian assistance and 2.8 million Yemenis have been forcibly internally displaced.

    Basic services across the country are on the verge of collapse. Chronic drug shortages and conflict-related destruction restrict around 14 million Yemenis, including 8.3 million children, from accessing health care services. In addition, more than 1.8 million additional children have been out of school since the escalation of conflict, bringing the total number of children out of school to more than 3 million. Over 1,600 schools remain closed due to insecurity, physical damage, or their use as shelters for displaced people. Aid delivery has been affected by violence and security concerns.  

    Last Updated: Apr 01, 2017

  • As of January 2015 and following a thorough review of the political and security environment in Yemen, the Bank has suspended all missions to Yemen. All disbursements to projects financed by IDA and Bank managed trust funds have been suspended since March 11, 2015. 

    However, the Bank has continued coordinating with Yemeni stakeholders and partners to respond to the fast-evolving deteriorating situation.  In December 2015, given the critical health needs on the ground, the Bank lifted the suspension on an exceptional basis- and disbursed funds to two health projects, the Schistosomiasis Control Project and the Health and Population Project, to allow for an arrangement with two specialized UN agencies for procurement and distribution of essential drugs, medical supplies and related activities.  The two projects are being implemented by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

    In July 2016, the World Bank Board approved a Country Engagement Note with Yemen for fiscal years 2017–18 to provide emergency support utilizing local service delivery, support conflicted-affected families and communities and prepare for post-conflict recovery and reconstruction in partnership with the UN. 

    In addition, a US$50 million Emergency Crisis Response Project was approved to support households and communities hard hit by the ongoing crisis. Building on the positive experience of implementing the Bank’s health portfolio through UNICEF and the WHO, the proposed grant to the UNDP will finance emergency interventions to ease the impact of conflict on the welfare and livelihood of affected households and communities in Yemen with a particular focus on women and youth, and to restore capacity for service delivery.

    On January 17, 2017, the World Bank approved two new IDA grants for Yemen totaling US$450 million to provide emergency support for the most vulnerable segment of the population in all of the country’s 22 governorates. These grants will finance two nationwide projects aimed at providing vulnerable women and children with access to critical health and nutrition services, income opportunities for the poorest households, and the essential social services that millions of Yemenis rely on:   

    • US$250 million grant will expand the ongoing Emergency Crisis Response Project (implemented by UNDP) to provide income opportunities for two million highly impoverished Yemenis, including women, youth and internally displaced people. The grant will further strengthen the Social Fund for Development (SFD) and the Public Works Project (PWP), two key Yemeni institutions that deliver services at the community level, now critical for building up the resilience of Yemenis to cope with the impacts of the ongoing conflict.

    • A US$200 million grant will fund the Emergency Health and Nutrition Project (implemented by WHO and UNICEF) which aims to maintain the capacity of the existing health systems, while providing health and nutrition services to an estimated 7 million Yemenis. As a result of the conflict, less than half of Yemeni health facilities are still functional, and increasing pockets of preventable diseases are emerging and malnutrition rates are soaring. The health and nutrition project builds on IDA’s support to the health sector over the past 15 years.

    Last Updated: Apr 01, 2017

  • Two health projects (Health and Population Project and Schistosomiasis Control Project) (where suspension was lifted on December 22, 2015) have disbursed more than 89% of funds (US$ 15.1million).  As of November 2016, 1.5 million children under five with polio vaccination, 150,000 beneficiaries for malnutrition, deworming, and maternal and child illnesses, and distribution of drugs to 0.4 million school-aged children in 20 districts.

    Under the Emergency Crisis Response Project, disbursement is at $23.3 m (47%) of which $16.7 m has been transferred to subprojects and beneficiaries.  A number of 170 subprojects (of total 288 planned) are under implementation, with a total value of $19 m.  The number of individuals currently participating in labor-intensive works under both subcomponents is over 15,300, of which 30% are female, 35% youth and 40% IDPs. Around 106,800 work days have been created generating income to an estimated 50,000 people (family members of participating HHs).  Additionally, 4,222 poor women and their under 5 children are receiving cash assistance and nutrition interventions, including facilitating their access to malnutrition treatment services. 

    Under the recently approved Emergency Health and Nutrition Project a nationwide polio vaccination campaign has been just concluded.  Around 5 million Yemen children in all governorates were reached as a result of this campaign.  In addition, 375,000 children aged 6-24 months and 132,000 pregnant and lactating women received micro-nutrients.  As of April 2017, 17,638 Pregnant women received TT (Tetanus Toxoid vaccine), and 71,032 children were treated for childhood illnesses.  Finally, 16,526 women received MNH services. About $80 million (40%) has been disbursed to UNICEF and WHO.

    Last Updated: Apr 01, 2017

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In Depth

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Nov 15, 2017

An overview of the World Bank projects in Yemen

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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Sanaa, +967-1- 413-708/10 Fax: +967-1- 413-709
East Faj Attan Area - Off Beirut Street
ealharazi@worldbank.org