The World Bank has approved an additional $150 million grant for the second phase of the Yemen Food Security Response and Resilience Project. The new funding is designed to address food insecurity, strengthen resilience and protect livelihoods in Yemen.
The financing comprises a $100 million grant from the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, the International Development Association (IDA), and a further $50 million from the IDA Crisis Response Window. It builds on activities supported by a US$127 million parent project, which began in 2021.
The additional grant will scale up the Bank’s efforts to strengthen Yemen’s resilience to food crises. It is aligned with the overall World Bank strategy to support countries as they navigate crises while making progress on longer-term development objectives. In particular, the additional grant will focus on agricultural production and climate-resilient restoration of productive assets to protect livelihoods; scale up household-level food production as well as domestic food distribution using a combination of short- and medium-term interventions, and prioritize areas where food insecurity and malnutrition are chronic.
Yemen’s protracted conflict has exacerbated food insecurity, with an estimated 19 million people in need of assistance as of August 2022, representing about 60 percent of the population. Moreover, the economic impacts of the war in Ukraine have exacerbated food security concerns in Yemen. Between August 2021 and August 2022, the price of the minimum food basket increased by 65 percent in the South and 31 percent in the North of the country, according to the latest WFP Monthly Food Security Update.
“The World Bank is scaling up its efforts to support the people of Yemen beyond emergency assistance,” said Tania Meyer, World Bank Country Manager for Yemen. “The additional financing underscores the World Bank’s commitment to supporting the people of Yemen in the midst of multiple crises, and support the restoration of domestic agri-food production and climate-resilient recovery”
To mitigate the potential impact of reduced cereal imports in the medium to long term, the additional grant will help scale up domestic cereal production. It will do this by providing support to smallholder farmers to produce high-quality and climate-resilient cereal seeds (such as wheat, millet, and sorghum). The additional grant will also help scale-up animal health programs, vaccinating and treating nearly all small ruminant livestock and improving productivity, and increasing resilience to climate shocks such as heatwaves. Such livelihood restoration interventions address food safety and security as well as resilience to climate change.
The project will be implemented countrywide by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the United Nations Development Programme, and the International Committee of The Red Cross, working alongside local partners. The World Food Programme will continue to implement the original project financing jointly with the above-mentioned international organizations.
The grant is aligned with the World Bank Group’s strategy for fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV), which focuses on remaining engaged in active conflict situations to support the most vulnerable communities and key institutions. It is also aligned with the World Bank’s Global Crisis Response Framework (GCRF), as it contributes to key objectives of responding to food insecurity, and “strengthening resilience.
The World Bank’s country-wide program for Yemen has reached US$3.3 billion in IDA grants since 2016. In addition to funding, the World Bank provides technical expertise to design projects and guide their implementation by building strong partnerships with UN agencies and local institutions with working capacity on the ground.