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The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved an International Development Association (IDA) grant of $150 million as the Second Additional Financing (AF2) for the Yemen Emergency Human Capital Project (YEHCP).
The funding is intended to continue providing essential health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services while strengthening country systems across the struggling nation.
The bank stressed that a series of catastrophic events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, measles outbreaks, cholera outbreaks, locust infestations and floods, coupled with escalating food prices, food insecurity and fragmented service delivery, have adversely affected the the country’s systems to meet basic needs.
– Four key areas
The project focuses on four main areas: improving health care and food services in primary health care centers and hospitals, improving water supply and sanitation, strengthening local systems, and providing overall project support and management.
The additional funding aims to strengthen institutional capacity and the ability of the health, water and sanitation system to improve the coverage and quality of essential services and resilience against cyclical outbreaks of infectious diseases.
An important aspect of this improvement includes strengthening surveillance, improving early detection services and strengthening the expertise of health professionals.
The additional funding will also support the country’s health information management system to collect quality data for health policy and service provision.
According to World Bank data, as of March 31, 2023, 8.4 million beneficiaries had been served by the project, surpassing its initial target.
The health and nutrition program alone has helped over 4.49 million women and over three million children, with sustained high coverage of critical maternal and child health services offered in over 2,000 health facilities.
In addition, water and sanitation measures have provided improved access to over 450,000 individuals, 48.5 percent of whom are women and girls.
However, based on the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), 17 million people still face acute food insecurity.
Two million children and 1.3 million pregnant and lactating women suffer from acute malnutrition. It is a struggle against time and deteriorating human conditions.
The World Bank’s Yemen Country Manager Tanya Mayer highlighted the race against time and deteriorating humanitarian conditions, expressing concern about the alarming decline in human capital in Yemen.
“In 2023 alone, nearly 21.6 million people, roughly three-quarters of the population and including a staggering 12.9 million children, are in dire need of assistance,” she said.
“With this additional funding, we will remain laser-focused on preserving essential health, nutrition and WASH services while improving local delivery systems. It is imperative that partners continue to collaborate and innovate with scale and urgency to support the country.”
The World Bank’s overall country program for Yemen has reached $3.9 billion in IDA grants since 2016.
In addition to financing, the World Bank provides technical expertise to develop projects and guide their implementation by building strong partnerships with UN agencies and local institutions with operational capacity on the ground.