WASHINGTON, September 22, 2023 —The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors has approved an International Development Association (IDA) grant amounting to US$150 million as a Second Additional Financing (AF2) for the Yemen Emergency Human Capital Project (YEHCP). This crucial financing is set to continue the delivery of essential health, nutrition, and water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services, while strengthening the country’s systems throughout the embattled nation.
Compounding the impact of the conflict, a series of catastrophic events—such as the COVID-19 pandemic, measles outbreaks, a cholera epidemic, a locust invasion, and flooding –coupled with escalating food prices, food insecurity and fragmented delivery of services have adversely affected the country’s systems to respond to basic needs.
The EHCP focuses on four main areas: improving healthcare and nutrition services at primary health care centers and hospitals, enhancing water supply and sanitation services and strengthening local systems, providing comprehensive project support and management.
Moving forward, the AF2 aims to buttress institutional capacity and strengthen the health, water and sanitation system's capacity to improve coverage and quality of basic services offered and resilience against cyclical communicable disease outbreaks. A vital aspect of this enhancement includes bolstering surveillance, enhancing early detection services, and reinforcing the expertise of healthcare professionals. The additional financing will also support the country's health information management system to collect quality data for health policy and service delivery.
As of March 31, 2023, 8.4 million beneficiaries had been served by the project, exceeding its initial target. The health and nutrition program alone has helped over 4.49 million women and over three million children, with sustained, high coverage of critical maternal and child health services offered at over 2,000 health facilities. Furthermore, water supply and sanitation measures have provided over 450,000 individuals, 48.5 percent of whom were women and girls, with improved access.
However, according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), 17 million people still face acute food insecurity. Acute malnutrition plagues two million children and 1.3 million pregnant and lactating women. It is a fight against time and deteriorating human conditions.
“The scale of the deterioration of human capital in Yemen is alarming. In 2023 alone, nearly 21.6 million people, which is roughly three-quarters of the population and includes a staggering 12.9 million children, are in dire need of assistance," said Tania Meyer, World Bank Country Manager for Yemen. “With this additional financing, we will remain laser focused on preserving essential health, nutrition, and WASH services while enhancing local systems for delivery. It is imperative that partners continue to collaborate and innovate with scale and urgency in support of the country.”
The World Bank’s country-wide program for Yemen has reached US$3.9 billion in IDA grants since 2016. In addition to funding, the World Bank provides technical expertise to design projects and guide their implementation by building strong partnerships with UN agencies and local institutions with working capacity on the ground.