SANA’A, February 28, 2014 – In response to the Government of Yemen’s request to support Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and strengthen their role in the state building process, the World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved a US$8 million grant to Yemen’s Civil Society Organizations Support Project.
“Yemen faces a complex set of development challenges that we need to tackle collectively,” said Mohammed Al-Sadi, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation. “CSOs are an important part of this effort as they have proved their effectiveness in complementing government services.”
The project consists of two mutually reinforcing components that will strengthen the enabling environment for CSOs at the national level and build their capacities to participate in development projects in which citizen engagement is part of the core design.
A key objective is to simplify the registration regulations governing the non-governmental sector to increase transparency and ease the entry of new CSOs. The project will also provide training in social accountability and small grants for putting the learning into practice.
“Global experience shows that the role of CSOs in periods of transition is considered vital as they can mediate between the state and citizens,” said Franck Bousquet, World Bank Urban and Social Development Sector Manager. “This new project supports the building of a constructive partnership between the government and CSOs.”
The project engages a diverse group of beneficiaries. Its stakeholders include the Ministries of Planning and International Cooperation, and Social Affairs and Labor, along with participating CSOs. The Universities of Sana’a and Aden will implement the capacity building program and will play a key role in transferring knowledge relevant to social accountability.
“CSOs in Yemen are among the most vibrant in the Middle East and North Africa region,” said Wael Zakout, World Bank Yemen Country Manager. “A growing number are working on economic, social, human, and humanitarian rights, and we believe they have an important and integral role to play in the future development of the new Yemen.”