UNDP’s Regional Director for Arab States completes official visits to Yemen: We maintain our focus on strengthening resilience and early recovery

Mourad Wahba, Assistant of UN Secretary General & RBAS Regional Director, completes first visit to Yemen (Photo: UNDP Yemen)

12 October 2017, Yemen – In the immediate term, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) continues to focus on strengthening the resilience of war-affected Yemeni communities and supporting early recovery efforts, including improving livelihoods, basic social service delivery, and mine action,  according to UN Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Regional Director for Arab States, Mourad Wahba.

Wahba has just completed a two-day official visit to Yemen –his first since the beginning of the current conflict. He met with high level officials in the country, who expressed appreciation of UNDP’s ability to continue its operations during the crisis despite difficult circumstances that compelled many other international organizations to suspend their work in the country.  Wahba received multiple requests to scale up UNDP’s operations in Yemen, particularly to improve livelihoods and restore basic services.

 “The crisis in Yemen is the world’s largest crisis today. It requires an unprecedented response from the international community, including from UNDP. I came to Yemen to see for myself the scale of the response needed and to ensure that UNDP is in a position to step up its efforts to help the people of Yemen,” said Regional Director Wahba. “We work with our sister Agencies, the Yemeni authorities, and other partners to coordinate our activities to build resilience and preserve institutional capacities to serve the suffering Yemeni population.”

While in Aden, Regional Director Wahba visited UNDP-supported vocational training schemes for youth, funded by the Government of Japan as part of the ‘Yemen Stabilization Programme.’ These schemes are currently helping over 420 young women and men from 3 districts in Aden to gain the required skills to launch their small businesses.

In Sana’a and Aden, Wahba visited cash-for-work projects targeting vulnerable populations. Such emergency employment schemes provide dignified and productive means for cash-strapped Yeminis to receive the money they badly need to afford all essentials, especially food. Over 39,000 workers have benefited from cash for work activities conducted through the first year of the Yemen Emergency Crisis Response Project (YECRP), funded by World Bank. Additionally, over 22,000 individuals directly benefited from similar cash for work activities under the Enhancing Rural Resilience Project (ERRY), funded by the European Union.

Wahba also met UNDP staff in Sana’a and Aden, thanking them for their efforts delivering much needed assistance to the Yemeni population under very difficult circumstances.