Riyadh / 25 July 2020 – At the invitation of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) participated in a virtual international donors meeting on Thursday on development priorities in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on the newly developed socio-economic framework in Yemen. UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Lise Grande and World Bank Regional Manager in Yemen Raja Kattan co-chaired the meeting, with UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Dr. Nahed Hussein, ambassadors from countries supporting development in Yemen, and representatives of international development organizations in attendance.
Grande thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, together with the World Bank, for having “stepped forward right at the start and provided urgent funding to the teams on the ground here in Yemen at the very beginning” of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Without that,” she said, “we would not have had a public health response.”
During the meeting, the SDRPY team emphasized 4 important tracks of the strategic socio-economic framework for Yemen, namely: (1) building the capacity of healthcare institutions to enable them not only to provide curative care, but also to take public health preventive measures to deal with the existing pandemic and future health emergencies; (2) sustainable job creation; (3) effective private sector engagement in economic recovery; and (4) affirmation of the interrelationship between the humanitarian and development path and sustainable peace, known as the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus.
Prior to this meeting, SDRPY had participated in the 2nd UNDP Country Program Board Meeting in the presence of Yemeni Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Dr. Najib Al-Auj, international development officials and ambassadors. They reviewed development and reconstruction priorities in the context of socio-economic framework under development by the UNDP in Yemen, as well as the transition from humanitarian relief to sustainable development.
Thus far SDRPY has implemented 177 projects to improve basic services in key sectors, including establishment of schools, equipment of medical centers, environmental sanitation campaigns, and delivery of essential fuels under a Saudi grant to 64 Yemeni power stations. Projects have helped raise the performance of state institutions in several Yemeni provinces, most notably Aden, Socotra, Mahra, Marib, Al-Jawf and Saada. The program is currently endeavoring to reach other governorates with sustainable initiatives to build Yemeni capacities, promote self-sufficiency and help Yemen achieve economic recovery.