A Synthesis Report on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Yemen with Potential COVID-19 Impact Analysis

May 27, 2020

This report presents the findings of the market study in the seven sectors of handloom and textile, food industry, meat and poultry, fishery, beekeeping/honey, pottery, and solar energy. The detailed findings are presented as seven independent value chain reports that are briefly reviewed in this summary report and appear as annexes to the executive summary report. The study analysis started in December 2019 and with the arrival of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, opportunities were found to provide insight into the potential impact of the virus crisis on the aforementioned sectors.

Business in Yemen has taken a severe blow from the protracted conflict. The national economy has collapsed and with it the purchasing power of consumers. Import and export have been reduced to just a trickle of earlier volumes. Both physical and institutional infrastructure have been destroyed. And distribution of goods has been impeded by transportation cost and expensive fees. But despite these ordeals, most businesses have survived, occasionally even thrived, showing an extraordinary capacity of Yemenis to adapt to hardship and bounce back from setbacks. 

Enterprises in all seven sectors covered by the market study present livelihood opportunities for poor men and women. Even though women are seldom employed in the businesses studied, owners are open to recruitment of female workers in occupations that are culturally acceptable; however, very few business owners believe women can operate in the enterprises they are managing.

 

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