Clearing the way for aid and reopening of schools, hospitals in Aden, Yemen

Mar 30, 2017

Women registering to help clean up public sites in Aden. Photo: UNDP Yemen

New York — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has cleared more than 650 truckloads of debris from the streets of Aden, Yemen, in the last three months to help humanitarians deliver aid and keep basic services functioning.

Under a project supported by the Government of Japan, a further 700 truckloads of debris and waste will be cleared by the end of April.

UNDP has also helped 360 residents – more than half of them women – to earn income and support their families in return for clearing garbage left behind in schools, hospitals, parks and streets after years of conflict, and cleaning the buildings so they can reopen for community use.

Unexploded bombs and other weapons buried in the rubble are also being carefully removed through the specialized Yemen Executive Mine Action Center to help keep civilians safe.

UNDP Country Director Auke Lootsma said heavy debris from war-damaged buildings, including concrete, steel and wood, often blocks humanitarian aid reaching vulnerable people and makes it harder for basic services to function.

“Yemen is one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time and millions of Yemenis are without income, food or access to healthcare and other services,” Mr Lootsma said.

“Removing debris and cleaning up public sites not only helps humanitarians deliver aid but also clears the way for services such as basic healthcare and schools to reopen.

“While instability continues across Yemen, we are pushing ahead with this early recovery work where we can. Without aid and basic services, even more vulnerable Yemenis will suffer for longer.”

Aden remains fragile after years of conflict in Yemen, with an estimated 490 buildings destroyed or damaged, including hospitals and schools.

Across Yemen, UNDP is working to restore livelihoods, social cohesion and security and helping to rebuild basic services including through waste management, civil registration and dispute resolution.

UNDP is also helping to clear unexploded bombs, grenades and landmines across the country.

During his first visit to Aden earlier this month, Mr Lootsma visited key decision makers including the Prime Minister, Minister of Civil Service, Deputy Minister of Interior, the acting Governor of the Central Bank, Abyan Governor, the acting Governors of Aden and Lahaj, Yemen Mine Action Center in Aden and interacted with community leaders to prepare upcoming UNDP support to all Governorates in Yemen.

For additional information, please contact Ann-Marie Wilcock in New York at ann-marie.wilcock@undp.org or +1 (212) 906 6586

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