The World Bank’s IDA Scales up its Support for Yemeni People

April 7, 2022

Photo from Archive. | Photo Credit: UNDP Yemen / 2021

Sana’a, Yemen: US$108 million of additional finance from the World Bank’s International Development Association to step up social protection and support for Yemeni households whose food security affected by the conflict, COVID-19, and climate-related shocks.

An estimated one million Yemenis will benefit from the World Bank’s IDA support package of US$ 169.4 million to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Emergency Social Protection Enhancement and COVID-19 Response Project in Yemen (ESPECRP) launched back in December 2020.

Over 17 million people in Yemen are experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity.

More than seven years of unrelenting conflict, poverty, and displacement have significantly crippled service delivery in key public sectors and crumpled the already-ailing economy in Yemen.

The level of child stunting and wasting in Yemen are among the highest in the world with nearly 2.2 million children under the age of 5 in need of immediate treatment for acute malnutrition. This further erodes Yemen’s human capital and poses a long-term risk to Yemen’s development.

“Healthy and strong Yemeni children mean a long-term prosperity and brighter future for decades to come,” says Auke Lootsma, UNDP Yemen’s Resident Representative.

SPECRP is intended to sustain and scale up the impact of the response to the alarming increase of acute malnutrition in Yemen through cash-for-nutrition support, health, and nutrition education. Over 153,000 children and women suffering from malnutrition will benefit from the project’s nutrition programme.

ESPECRP’s income-generating interventions - through labor-intensive cash for works and wage employment – will focus on rehabilitation of community and productive assets (e.g., agriculture land, irrigation systems, rural roads, water, and sanitation). This will support the livelihoods of food-insecure households and put cash in the hands of nearly 122,000 Yemenis to afford food and other basic needs.

The project also seeks to mitigate the effects of climate change through community investments in flood prevention, land protection, irrigation canals, and water conservation.

Through targeted grants and technical assistance, as well as increased access to finance, the World Bank fund will also extend economic support to nearly 8,000 existing small and micro businesses across Yemen. This will help local businesses continue to operate and provide its local goods and services and generate jobs.   

Building upon the success of the World Bank’s IDA US$ 400 million Yemen Emergency Crisis Response Project (YECRP), UNDP and the World Bank have signed another two funds – the Social Protection Enhancement and COVID-19 Response Project (SPECRP) and Yemen Food Security Response and Resilience Project (FSRRP)– to scale up their emergency response and support for social protection interventions and food security resilience through cash transfers, livelihoods restoration, and provision of key services.

“Through IDA’s support, the strategic partnership between UNDP and the World Bank in Yemen has helped millions of Yemenis to overcome multiple crises caused by the war, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working together to invest in building a better today and tomorrow for Yemen.”

Press Contacts 

UNDP Yemen: Leanne Rios, Team Lead Communications and Advocacy (

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