Violent conflict, mass displacement and multiple shocks over the past few years have had a devastating effect on Yemen.
The Fourth Additional Financing to the Yemen Emergency Crisis Response Project (ECRP) seeks to provide effective social protection to the poorest and most vulnerable households and communities during the crisis. The ongoing ECRP has ensured the revival and sustenance of key social protection programs focusing on immediate needs as well as long-term development, and builds on partnerships with strong local development institutions, as well as UN agencies with solid technical capacity, field presence and experience in Yemen. With the Board’s approval on May 14 of AF4 (US$200 million), IDA’s total contribution towards ECRP has reached US$860 million dollars.
Development Approach During Conflict
The ECRP has successfully demonstrated the ability to provide an effective development response to economic and human development challenges during conflict, through a wide range of interventions that address multiple needs and vulnerabilities for around 1.9 million households (roughly 40% of the population). Its constituent activities encompass public works programs, essential services, youth employment, local development, community infrastructure, small and micro enterprise development, and social assistance through cash transfers.
Together, these interventions address multiple needs and priorities including food security, consumption smoothing, insurance against shocks, human capital preservation and labor market activation. The ECRP deploys a unique model for partnership, bringing together the World Bank’s technical expertise, institutional engagement, resources, and capacity with diverse actors including specialized UN agencies, strong national institutions, private sector actors and local communities. This partnership model has proven to be critical for providing a development response to the challenges imposed by continuing conflict.
The project is structured around the following components. The Labor-Intensive-Works and Community Services (LIWCS) component, a multi-sectoral adaptive intervention implemented in partnership with the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) through two national institutions: The Social Fund for Development (SFD) and the Public Works Project (PWP). A unique feature of this component lies in its adaptive nature in managing risk and responding to shocks through strong partnerships with communities, leveraging technology, and fostering social accountability. To date, the project has achieved remarkable results across SFD and PWP interventions:
- Over 344,550 direct beneficiary households reached
- Over 8.6 million work days generated
- Over 3.3 million beneficiaries provided with access to key community services
- Over 295,000 women and children benefited from nutrition services
- Over 600,000 households reached through the awareness campaign against Cholera and Acute Watery Diarrhea
- Over 3,800 SMEs directly given grants through support to MFIs
- Over 61,000 beneficiaries (comprising farmers, livestock owners and fishermen) received grants from the Small and Micro-Enterprise Promotion Service (SMEPS) to revive livelihood activities.
Activities supported by this component cover a wide range of community-level projects (such as road construction, rehabilitation of agricultural land, school buildings and health clinics; construction of water-harvesting tanks and drinking water facilities, construction of shelters, promotion of home gardens, and construction of latrines). The interventions extend the benefits of the project beyond temporary income opportunities to multiple dimensions of human development and wellbeing. Further, the participatory approaches adopted by the project as well as its focus on vulnerable groups, promotes inclusive community collaboration, deepens citizen engagement and promotes social cohesion at the local levels that can enable and foster future peace and stabilization.
The Emergency Cash Transfer (ECT) Component of the ECRP provides quarterly unconditional cash transfers to approximately 1.5 million poor and vulnerable households in Yemen, covering roughly 32% of the country’s population. This component is implemented in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and local private sector partners that provide a range of services to ensure to beneficiary households secure, timely and smooth access to quarterly cash transfer payments. The ECT builds on the national Cash Transfer program which was implemented by the Social Welfare Fund (SWF) but suspended following the outbreak of conflict.
The ECT aligns with the SWF program by retaining the pre-conflict SWF beneficiary list for targeting recipients, and by linking cash transfer amounts paid to recipient households with the benefit calculation formula developed and used by the SWF. To date, the ECT component has made four rounds of payments to an average 1.39 million beneficiary households. The ECT’s focus on the chronic poor and vulnerable groups in Yemen during this crisis is providing basic sustenance to the weakest sections of society, preventing their further marginalization due to war.
Scaling up the impact through Additional Financing. AF4 aims to provide resources to further scale up the impact of the ECRP through: (i) expanding the coverage of the wage employment and livelihood support interventions; and (ii) continuing the ECT program to existing beneficiaries for about two additional payment cycles to provide them with relative income stability and predictability.