World Bank and Food and Agriculture Organization Partner to Support Food Security in Yemen

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New project aims to improve livelihoods and nutrition for more than 630,000 Yemenis by helping smallholder farmers restart production in the hardest hit areas of the country Cairo, August 2, 2017 – The World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have partnered to support food security in Yemen with the launch of a US$36 million project to support smallholder farmers resume production in seven of the country’s most conflict affected provinces. By restarting small scale agriculture in the most food insecure regions of Yemen, the project aims to improve both the livelihoods and nutrition of 90,000 households, or around 630,000 Yemenis. The project will be funded by a grant from the World Bank-administered Global Agriculture Food Security Program and will be implemented by the FAO in collaboration with Yemen’s Social Fund for Development. “Yemen’s agricultural sector has been hit hard by the ongoing conflict, contributing to the food insecurity felt throughout Yemen,” said Dr. Asad Alam, World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti. “Thanks to this partnership we are able to launch a project to help the most vulnerable Yemenis in rural areas, by investing in agriculture and livestock production which directly contribute to poverty alleviation, as well as benefit rural women – one of the most at risk segments of the population.”  The Smallholder Agricultural Production Restoration and Enhancement Project aims to  support poor households with improved agricultural production, leading to improved income and nutrition, while helping conflict affected farmers resume crop and livestock production to restore their livelihoods and provide income for their basic needs. The project will finance improved management of community land and water resources, and build the capacity of key service providers, such as veterinarians and suppliers of seeds and equipment, to ensure the agriculture sector has the support it needs to persevere during the conflict. Local implementation will rely on a community-led model, with local communities making decisions on which sub-projects to be funded. “Crop production and livestock rearing employ half of Yemen’s workforce and are the main sources of livelihoods for two-thirds of the country,” said Rufiz Vakhid Chirag-Zade, World Bank Senior Agribusiness Specialist and Task Team Leader for the project. “The project will target the most vulnerable and conflict-affected by financing start-up packages to resume agricultural production for rural women, internally displaced people, and those trying to return home after being forced to flee by conflict.”   This new financing brings the total of emergency support for Yemen over the past year to US$819 million, with the bulk of the funds provided by grants from IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries. Scaled up efforts to address rising food insecurity now reach around 8 million Yemenis across the entire country, with projects prepared and implemented in partnership with Yemeni institutions and UN organizations such as the United Nations Development Program, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Health Organization, and the FAO.  

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