Today, Yemen is the world’s worst human crisis, especially with a looming wide-scale famine.

As we address pressing and immediate needs in Yemen, we must work equally to stave off a future dependency upon humanitarian aid. Investment in economic recovery, stabilization, and reconstruction to address Yemen’s development emergency are urgently and critically needed to both complement efforts to end the war and meet humanitarian needs. Development-focused responses are not only critical now, they are also feasible. 

UNDP is already on the ground in 95 per cent of Yemen, in all 22 of Yemen’s governates and on both sides of the conflict. Our work on the ground complements, expands, sustains, and enhances cost-effectiveness and impact of humanitarian responses. We help ensure investments in Yemen are more sustainable by building a pathway to a better future. Examples of how we help bridge the humanitarian, development and peace nexus and help build a stronger more sustainable future for Yemen are outlined and highlighted below.

In this critical moment, we call on our International donors to answer the call for sustainable development. The humanitarian needs are vital, but greater resilience to future shocks cannot be achieved without a focus on long-term planning and integrated development initiatives. Saving lives now is the critical priority, but so is safeguarding a future of hope for those lives saved.  


Protracted displacement has resulted in increasing unemployment. As a result of the on-going war, Yemenis have been forced to flee their homes and leave their livelihoods behind.

The high cost of imported food, fuel and medicine – as a result of inflated tariffs and war insurance costs for importers – puts basic services out of reach for Yemenis who cannot find stable employment. This creates a reliance on aid and encourages negative coping mechanisms.

In 2020, UNDP and partners provided more than 6,000 small farmers, fishers, and livestock breeders with cash assistance, technical support, and COVID-19 information. A further 300,000 individuals participated in cash-for-work projects, which not only provided them critical income, but supported the rehabilitation and construction of critical community infrastructure including roads, schools, flood walls and sanitation systems.

In 2021 and beyond, UNDP remains committed to financially empowering Yemenis, enabling the purchase of food, fuel and medicine, as well as ensuring a stronger local and national economy, and a brighter future for Yemen.

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In Yemen, 59 per cent of the rural population – approximately half of the total population – have no access to electricity. While diesel generators provide some Yemenis with power, the soaring price of fuel has left many in darkness.

In 2020, UNDP and partners provided nearly 300,000 people with access power after installing 68 off-grid solar power systems in public facilities, schools, and health centres.

More than 500 Yemenis were also trained in solar system installation and maintenance, ensuring a stable income for their families and the longjevity of solar power infrastructure in Yemen.

In 2021 and beyond, UNDP is committed to turning on the lights for Yemenis – increasing safety and productivity for communities usually blanketed in darkness once the sun goes down.

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Every day, Yemeni’s risk life and limb to access critical services like jobs, food, water, sanitation and healthcare. Contaminated with explosive remnants of war (UXOs), land mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), roads, farmlands and communities are potential hazards for Yemenis.

In 2020, UNDP supported the clearance of over 2.2 million square meters of ordinance contaminated land in 199 districts in 19 governorates. And we conducted surveys and mine clearance operations in 111 districts in 19 governorates, clearing over 50,000 unexploded ordnance. 

In 2021 and beyond, UNDP remains committed to building the local capacity for survey and safe removal of explosive devices to increase safety and security for all Yemenis.

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