Overview

  • After more than three years of escalating conflict, Yemen continues to face an unprecedented humanitarian, social and economic crisis.

    Yemen’s GDP is estimated to have contracted by about 50% since 2014.  The agriculture and fishery sectors, which employed more than 54% of the rural workforce have been severely constrained by shortage of agriculture inputs such as feed and other essential commodities.  Cases of malnutrition and severe food insecurity have spiked as the fight for control over strategic port facilities has interrupted critical imports (including food, fuel, and international aid).  Oil and gas production is operating at about 10% of pre-war capacity and exports have been suspended.  This is coupled with the collapse of purchasing power of millions of Yemenis.

    The humanitarian situation is grave: over 3 million people have been forced to flee from their homes, of which 2 million remain displaced .  About 75% – some 22.2 million people –  require humanitarian assistance, more than half of them (11.3 million) require acute assistance, an increase of 1 million since July 2017. Close to a third of Yemen’s 333 districts are sliding into famine, representing an increase of 13% since April 2017.   

    Nationwide, some 1.8 million children and 1.1 million pregnant or lactating women are acutely malnourished. This number includes 400,000 children under the age of five who are severely malnourished. Some 16 million people lack access to safe water and sanitation, and 18 million lack access to adequate healthcare. Local institutions that provide basic health and nutrition services are struggling to provide services at even the most basic level. Only half of all health facilities are functioning, and even these face severe shortages in medicines, equipment, and staff. At least two million children, nearly 27% of those of school age, are out of school, with more than 1,690 schools currently unfit for use. 

    Last Updated: Oct 11, 2018

  • In full recognition of the humanitarian-development nexus, the World Bank—through its concessional arm IDA— is providing large scale emergency support to Yemen during the conflict. Through an innovative partnership with the UN, IDA has financed $1.22 billion in emergency interventions, investing in people and the institutions they rely on for critical, basic services and to be ready for recovery and reconstruction.

    The IDA portfolio comprises five active projects: (1) the Emergency Crisis Response Project, US$500 million; (2) the Emergency Health and Nutrition Project, US$483 million (3) the Emergency Integrated Urban Services Project, US$150 million; and (4) the Emergency Electricity Access Project, US$50 million. In addition, the Global Agriculture Food Security Program (GAFSP) Trust Fund, administered by the World Bank, is financing a US$36 million Smallholder Agricultural Production Restoration and Enhancement Project.

    Last Updated: Oct 11, 2018

  • To respond to the risk of famine, the World Bank partnered with UNICEF and private agents to implement a US$200 million emergency cash transfer program financed by IDA’s Crisis Response Window (CRW).  As part of this project, cash transfers have been provided in all of the country’s 333 districts. The program has so far reached 1.5 million poor and vulnerable households. The coverage extends the benefits to over 9 million individuals, based on two quarters of cash transfers nationwide. Women comprise around 45% of the direct recipients.  Post-distribution monitoring found that 9 in 10 beneficiaries used cash transfers to purchase food. 

    The Emergency Health and Nutrition Project, (US$483 million total) has provided essential health and nutrition services to more than 14.6 million people in all districts of all governorates across the entire country. Nearly 60,000 pregnant and lactating women and their children are receiving cash transfers and nutrition services. In partnership with UNICEF and WHO, the IDA cholera emergency response component has helped treat over 664,000 out of the one million suspected cholera cases, reducing the case fatality rate from 2.3% to 0.21%. In addition, around 0.7 million people have been vaccinated with oral cholera vaccines in the high-risk districts. Furthermore, 1.43 million people have received access to improved water sources in cholera affected areas.  Around 16 million people were reached through house to house cholera campaigns in all governorates, and 1.85 million people have gained access to improved sanitation services in cholera-affected areas. The project has also helped maintain critical capacity of the health sector by in-part or in-full funding to 40% of public sector primary healthcare facilities and 30% of public hospitals 

    To support livelihood opportunities, the World Bank’s US$300 million cash-for-work and community-based investment program is currently under implementation, in partnership with UNDP and local partners like the Social Fund for Development (SFD) and Public Works Program (PWP). Over 4 million work days have been generated, and income and livelihood support has been extended to over 1.2 million people, including Internally Displaced People and returnees. More than one million people are benefiting from the community infrastructure and livelihood assets created through building and rehabilitating rural roads, water schemes, and agricultural terraces. 

    The World Bank has partnered with UNOPS and local institutions to restore critical services in conflict-affected cities through the Integrated Urban Services Delivery Project. The US$ 150 million project will eventually support 1.4 million Yemenis, create 1.5 million days of employment, 400 km of roads, and generate an estimated 60,000 MWh of energy. The program has started in Aden, Hodeidah and Sana’a.

    In order to power vital basic services, a US$ 50 million Emergency Electricity Access Project will finance off-grid solar systems in Yemen and improve access to electricity for public institutions and poor households in rural and outlying urban areas. While UNOPS is the implementing partner, it will rely significantly on the commercial solar market, which has grown despite the conflict, providing further support to the local economy and creating jobs.

    Last Updated: Oct 11, 2018

  • Needs for recovery and reconstruction—essential to support the humanitarian effort—are huge and urgent. Therefore, the World Bank — in partnership with Saudi Arabia, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Germany, and others— has been working to develop a transformative early recovery and reconstruction program to create a positive cycle of investment in rebuilding essential infrastructure, improving key public services, and generating jobs and income. These efforts need to be anchored in a program for community voice and participation, provide transparency, efficiency and accountability in the use of resources, and support the private sector to create jobs for Yemen’s youth.

    Last Updated: Oct 11, 2018

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In Depth

Oct 03, 2018

Yemen's Economic Outlook - October 2018

If violence can be contained by late 2018, GDP is projected to begin to recover in 2019, with double-digit GDP growth. Inflation is like-ly to decline in such a case as supplies will increase.

Oct 03, 2018

MENA Economic Monitor, October 2018: A New Economy for the Middle East and ...

MENA countries will have to develop a digital economy. This will require the adoption of new technologies and the provision of “digital public goods”.

Sep 09, 2018

An overview of the World Bank projects and results in Yemen- August 2018

The World Bank has supported development in Yemen for over 45 years. This update offers an overview of the World Bank's projects in Yemen until August 2018.

May 29, 2018

Yemen Food Imports: A focus on Critical Challenges and Priority Interventions

The report examines the financial and logistical constraints the private sector is facing to importing basic food commodities into Yemen.

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