UNDP’s Administrator, Mr. Achim Steiner has returned from a five-day visit to Yemen where he traveled to Aden, Sana’a, and Hodeidah, to meet with communities, officials, and members of the United Nations family. The objectives behind Mr. Steiner’s visit were to explore how development initiative - alongside humanitarian support - can promote peace and to discuss how the United Nations Development Programme, together with its partners and the international community, can work with all Yemenis to lay the foundation for a future with viable alternatives to war and chaos.
UNDP has been operating in Yemen for over 50 years and works across the country to assist vulnerable Yemenis to meet their most urgent needs, help restore livelihoods, strengthen resilience and continue to partner with national institutions to provide vital services. Together with our national and international partners, 8 million workdays have been created and more than 3 million people have gained access to key services, such as healthcare, education, and markets.
After four years of violent conflict, Yemen is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. 80% of the population requires some form of humanitarian assistance. Fighting has killed or injured tens of thousands of civilians and displaced well over three million people. Progress on socio-economic indicators has been set back by over 20 years and war has brought the country’s economy to a halt.
In meetings with senior leadership in the country, Mr. Steiner discussed how the United Nations can scale up its operations, progress of the Stockholm agreement and explored how UNDP can provide technical expertise to stabilize the economy.
Through groundbreaking initiatives with donors such as the European Union and the Government of Japan, and partners such as Yemen’s Social Development Fund, Mr. Steiner also met affected communities in all locations, who sent a clear message that they want peace, relief and dignity restored and discussed how UNDP could better support them in the future.
UNDP, through an innovative partnership with the World Bank which pledged $400 million from the International Development Association to Yemen, has been able to support the access of people to jobs, education, healthcare and functioning markets in 300 districts across Yemen’s 22 governorate.
The UNDP Administrator is the senior most official of the United Nations to have visited the port of Hodeidah, since the signing of the Stockholm agreement.
UNDP has established a presence in the city of Hodeidah in February 2019 to support the office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General and the UN Mission in Hodeidah to implement the
UN-brokered Stockholm Agreement. The port is critical in brining life saving humanitarian assistance and commercial imports to Yemen and is the future lifeline for development in the county.
The port’s management and rehabilitation are at the core of the implementation of the Stockholm agreement.
UNDP is committed to supporting the needed repairs at the port, to give an impetus to peace and lay the foundation for future development in Yemen.
In Yemen: Leanne Rios (Leanne.Rios@undp.org)
In Amman: Noeman Alyssad (Noeman.Alyssad@undp.org)
In New York: Theodore Murphy (Theodore.Murphy@undp.org)