Kuwait Fund and UNDP team up to re-open hospitals in Yemen

Access to solar energy to save lives and livelihoods amidst crisis

February 23, 2022

Kuwait City / New York- The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (Kuwait Fund) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed today a new agreement to provide five hospitals in Yemen with access to solar energy and build capacity of the healthcare sector to deliver improved health outcomes amidst the crisis.

Entitled ‘Renewable Energy for Improved Health Services Project in Yemen,’ the agreement between Kuwait Fund and UNDP will seek to reduce the impact on healthcare facilities of frequent power-outages experienced across Yemen, by installing solar microgrids that enable continuous functioning, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Because of the years-long crisis, only 10 per cent Yeminis have access to the national electricity grid, and the bulk of the population has access only to energy solutions that are growing rapidly both in expense and in emissions.

“Yemen continues to remain the world’s worst humanitarian and development crisis. Since the eruption of the crisis, basic services have suffered severe setback with lack of access to energy representing a major challenge to the provision of key services, especially vital healthcare,” said the Director General of the Kuwait Fund, Mr. Marwan A. Al-Ghanem. “We are indeed very glad to partner once again with the UNDP in support of this humanitarian crisis.”

This support comes within the framework of the State of Kuwait pledge announced at the 2021 Conference to Support the Humanitarian Situation in Yemen, providing a grant of US$ 20 million from the Kuwait Fund.

“The Yemeni people have suffered for too long from a crisis that is taking a tragic toll on lives and livelihoods,” said Khalida Bouzar, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States, UNDP. “We are grateful for this new partnership that will help hospitals across the country, to continue to function even during the crisis—saving lives, boosting livelihoods and building the foundation for a green recovery once peace is achieved.”

Within the scope of the agreement, the partners aim to support the solarization of five hospitals, which are now offline, and when reactivated will serve the critical health needs of 100,000 people.

The agreement of a total US$ 2.5 million will be carried out in partnership with local Authorities and NGOs focused on women’s empowerment. Agencies across the United Nations Country Team will also be engaged as a means of boosting efficiency and impact.

The work on supporting access to green energy in five hospitals is part of a broader portfolio of support provided by UNDP Yemen to mitigate the impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable, support the functioning of local institutions, and pave a way for a robust recovery across the country when conditions allow.

This agreement represents the third collaboration between the two institutions in support of development in the context of humanitarian crises, following the 5 May 2021 signing of a global Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two institutions. The MoU calls for scaled-up support at the humanitarian-development-peace nexus and for the communities hardest hit by crises around the world.

The Kuwait Fund had previously supported UNDP’s Wastewater Treatment Plant Project in Khan Younis, in the Gaza Strip through a US$ 3.6 million grant and the Solid Waste Management Project for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon through a US$ 2.5 million grant.

About the Kuwait Fund

Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development is the first institution in the Middle East that has taken an active role in international development efforts. The Kuwait Fund extends loans on concessionary terms to finance development projects in developing countries. The Fund also provides technical assistance to finance the costs of the feasibility studies of projects, as well as the training of nationals of borrowing countries.

About the United Nations Development Programme

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.

Media contacts:

Kuwait Fund Ahmad Haidar | Ahaidar@kuwait-fund.org | + 96522999620

Shareefa AlSabah | SalSabah@kuwait-fund.org | +96522999628

UNDP Theodore Murphy | Theodore.Murphy@undp.org | +1-718-915-2097