Emergency Social Protection Enhancement and COVID-19 Response Project (ESPECRP)

Coverage All governorates
Status Ongoing
Duration December 2020 to December 2024
Budget USD 169.4 million
Target Groups Households that are most at-risk of malnutrition, vulnerable populations from the selected communities and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) affected by conflict and the COVID-19 crisis
Focus Area Cash-for-work, cash-for-nutrition, community assets, MSME support, and food market resilience  
Partners Social Fund for Development (SFD), Public Works Project (PWP), and Small and Micro Enterprise Promotion Service (SMEPS)
Project Manager Tracy Vienings

Project Summary

Funded and supported by the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), , the Emergency Social Protection Enhancement and COVID-19 Response Project (ESPECRP) aims to provide (a) nutrition-sensitive cash transfers; (b) temporary employment; and (c) increased access to basic services and economic opportunities for food-insecure populations affected by both COVID-19 and the on-going conflict and climate-related shocks, as well as to strengthen the capacity of national service delivery institutions.

The project is managed by UNDP Yemen and implemented by the Social Fund for Development (SFD), the Public Works Project (PWP), and the Small and Micro Enterprise Promotion Services (SMEPS).

Women’s Empowerment

Yemen has significantly faced challenges with regard to women’s access to education, health, productive employment and food security, they are disproportionately affected by the indirect and often lasting effects of conflict. Women-headed households are at higher risk of food insecurity and malnutrition due to their limited work opportunities and reduced access to productive resources, services, and rural institutions.

The ESPECRP will ensure that gender sensitive interventions are mainstreamed across all project components creating pathways for women’s employment and participation in society and playing a key role in building resilience to shocks, improving livelihoods and mitigating social constraints. This is relevant in the current country context as empowering women’s full productive potential can yield enormous benefits in reducing gender gaps in education, employment and access to services.

The ESPECRP aims to provide Yemeni women with nutrition-sensitive cash transfers, and target at least 30% with gender sensitive temporary employment, and increased access to basic services and economic opportunities to food-insecure populations affected by COVID-19. This will not only help them to generate income, but by economically empowering women, we can help to improve household living conditions.

Additionally, training and awareness raising opportunities will support women and girls by focusing on the development of new skills, health and hygiene knowledge, including COVID-19 preventive measures. All cash-for-work employees will also complete compulsory training and awareness raising on occupational health and safety and reporting any case of gender-based violence and sexual exploitation and abuse to ensure the safety and respect to all workers.


  • Provide cash assistance and much-needed services for vulnerable households that are most at risk of malnutrition.
  • Create employment opportunities for vulnerable populations, improve productivity, strengthen social cohesion, and respond to the anticipated effects of climate change.
  • Build valuable socio-economic assets for local communities that help improve access to key services and small infrastructure.
  • Finance MSMEs affected by the conflict and COVID-19 crisis to support economic activities that strengthen the domestic food market and improve food security.

Expected results

  • Nearly 122,000 (30% are women) direct wage employment beneficiaries 

  • Nearly 1 million Yemenis (50% are women) with increased access to key services  

  • 63,600 women benefiting from cash -for- nutrition and 90,000 children will be receiving the required treatment. 

  •   7,854 MSMEs supported financially to strengthen the domestic food market of which 35% are women-led SMEs  

Download related documents



November 2020


December 2022






United Nations Development Programme









Full Project information