A Future During Crisis: Yemeni Youth Receive Key Job Skills

Sep 20, 2015

135 young men and women from Hajjah governorate in Yemen have graduated from a vocational training course supported by the Netherlands and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Photo: ZOA

Sana’a, Yemen, 20 September 2015 -- 135 young men and women from Hajjah governorate in Yemen have graduated from a vocational training course hosted by the Sun Rise Institute and Sana’a University on Monday. Participants of this initiative, supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Netherlands, the non-governmental organizations ZOA and Millennium Development Foundation acquired key practical and theoretical job skills that include water harvesting techniques, maintenance of solar panels and solar-water pumps, plumbing and marketing of hygiene products. Another batch of around 170 youth is expected to start the training in October.

“You have now acquired skills in high demand for immediate and future market opportunities. When you will establish your business or find employment, you will remember to support your communities and peers following the spirit of social entrepreneurship,” said Farah Abdessamad, UNDP Programme Specialist, during the graduation ceremony.

More than 20 million people lack access to adequate water, sanitation and hygiene across Yemen, an increase by 52 percent since the conflict started in March. Yemen was already struggling with an unemployment rate over 50 percent even before the conflict. Although there is a lack of up-to-date data, the increasing number of people displaced by conflict has only exacerbated this trend – especially among vulnerable groups such as youth - and had a devastating impact on the economy.

This vocational training initiative is undertaken within the framework of UNDP’s 3x6 approach in Hajjah, which aims to provide youth with crucial business skills and support for establishing micro-enterprises, while at the same time bringing business solutions to water, hygiene and sanitation challenges in vulnerable communities. In 2015, UNDP livelihoods activities in Hajjah have currently reached out to a total of 65,000 individuals through community-based awareness campaigns around water, sanitation and hygiene issues led by women, cash-for-work activities as well as business and vocational trainings.

Responding to the current crisis and the emerging need to build resilience for affected populations to better cope, the 3x6 approach is adopting a social business focus to provide social impact at the community level, in addition to offering income-generating opportunities for women, youth, internally displaced persons and host communities.

“I am extremely pleased to congratulate your achievements, which demonstrate that positive accomplishments can be pursued in Yemen despite the war,” said Akram Al-Akhali representing the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Through its long-standing presence in the country, UNDP in Yemen is committed to working with communities as they build their own resilience mechanisms while recovering from crisis. UNDP aims to meet the needs of communities, both in terms of resumption of services and livelihoods as well as effective transition to sustainable development. Resilience building of vulnerable groups such as youth is also critical to mitigate dependency on humanitarian assistance.

Contact information

Farah Abdessamad, Programme Specialist in Sana’a (Mobile: +967 712221959, farah.abdessamad@undp.org)
Silke von Brockhausen, Media Focal Point in Amman (Mobile: +962 79035 9848, silke.von.brockhausen@undp.org).

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