Yemen Emergency Crisis Response Project (World Bank)

Coverage 321 districts in 22 governorates
Target Groups Households impacted by crisis, with focus on internally-displaced persons, female-headed households, households with children, and youth
Estimated Beneficiaries Over 5 million people
Focus Area Income Generation and Livelihoods, Financial Services, Community Infrastructure
Partners Social Fund for Development (SFD), Public Works Project (PWP)
Project Manager Tracy Vienings
Project Document Click to download

Project Summary

Food insecurity. Famine. Starvation. The dire reality facing the Yemeni people has been caused by over a five-year devastating war leaving 20 million Yemenis food insecure while over 7 million at risk of famine. The war has crippled an already ailing economy, caused mass displacement, disrupted salary payments, hiked food and fuel prices, paralyzed delivery of key services, and led to a deadly cholera epidemic.

The degree of deterioration of basic services such as water, sanitation, agriculture and education has exhausted the available international humanitarian resources. The conflict has also exacerbated chronic poverty, resulting in a drastic increase in severe hunger and acute malnutrition among 1.1 million mothers and 2 million children. The limited access to key goods, coupled with the decreasing and fluctuating national currency, has led to skyrocketing food prices, making food inaccessible to even Yemenis with steady income.

To help Yemenis cope amid this worsening crisis, in 2016 the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partnered with two key national institutions – the Yemen-based Social Fund for Development (SFD) and the Public Works Project (PWP) – to prevent a full-blown famine in Yemen. This partnership was designed to respond to the food shortages plaguing Yemen.

Through the Yemen Emergency Crisis Response Project (YECRP), a US$ 400 million project, the World Bank and UNDP work together to shore-up SFD and PWP. Despite the conflict, the institutions have been able to continue providing critical community-based and economic services to millions while working in harmony with humanitarian partners to help Yemenis.

With YECRP and the International Development Association’s (IDA) support, the World Bank and UNDP have brought a ‘New Way of Working’ into reality in Yemen. Our work brings together humanitarian and development efforts to prevent local communities from falling into further fragility.

YECRP uses SFD’s and PWP’s existing capacity to create jobs that are generally associated with the repair of key basic services for vulnerable people and communities. This includes building domestic water supply systems, protecting farmland to maintain optimal production, paving feeder roads to provide safe access to health care and food, and rebuilding damaged schools for students to continue their education.

The project also works to ensure small businesses – e.g. farmers, fishermen, midwives, grocery stores and pharmacies – that are on the verge of collapse are able to maintain access to financing and continue operating. This enables them with an opportunity to stay afloat during the crisis, helping communities keep citizens employed and families fed.

The project has also approached the food crisis from other angles. Through joint interventions, female community health promoters have been trained and contracted to work in health facilities. They have identified and educated mothers and children suffering from malnutrition and referred them for treatment.

The impact of YECRP across Yemen has been tremendous, helping the Yemeni people regain access to key services, earning wages to allow them to purchase basic needs for themselves and their families, and – most importantly – restoring their dignity.  


The project is designed to realize four practical outcomes:

  1. Communities benefit from short-term work, and youth gain skills that expand their job and life opportunities.
  2. Community assets are repaired and improved.
  3. Financial service providers and small businesses can develop and expand.


  • Over 450,000 individuals (60.6 per cent youth, 29.7 per cent female and 19.9 per cent internally-displaced persons / returnees) have been engaged in short-term jobs and nearly 2.7 million people have indirectly benefitted.
  • Over 12.2 million work days have been created.
  • Over 5.6 million people have gained access to services, such as water, food, health, education and roads.
  • Nearly 900.000 cubic meters of water supply were built.
  • 600 kilometers of road has been paved.
  • Nearly 24,000 hectares of agricultural land have been protected.
  • 2,552 classrooms have been repaired.
  • 7,720 farmers in rural areas have been trained and provided with equipment enabling them to practice modern farming techniques to improve productivity and save on the cost of fuel and water. This has created nearly 47,500 additional jobs.
  • 1,207 fishermen have received tools and equipment to improve their productivity and income.
  • 3,196 women have received livestock and tools to improve their productivity and income.
  • Over 15,200 youth (73.5 per cent female) have been trained and employed in nutrition promotion, education and community empowerment.
  • 3,197 Village Cooperative Councils have been established to support local development.
  • 2,419 youth-led community initiatives have been financed and implemented.
  • Nearly 700,000 children and pregnant or lactating women have benefited from nutrition services.
  • 5 microfinance institutions have been funded to continue providing their financial services to their over 84,300 clients.
  • 5,804 (47% of which are female owned) small- and micro-enterprises received grants to pay off their debts and continue their businesses.



April 2017


December 2021






United Nations Development Programme



United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)











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