Yemen is one of the oldest centres of civilization in the world, influencing near and far. With an area of 530,000 km2 and a population of about 23 million, the Republic of Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East. The Human Development Index in 2009 ranked it 140 out of 182 countries (http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics); adult literacy rate in 2008 was 59 percent; 50 percent of the population is under 15 years of age, and the country has one of the highest birth rates in the world; and up to 50 percent of the people have no access to basic health service (http://www.worldbank.org)
In recent years, public policy in Yemen has shifted towards a free market economy and the scope of public services has been considerably restricted. Although the shift has led to a positive impact in many areas including the private sector and civil society, the health and socioeconomic needs of a large part of the population has been constantly increasing, particularly in rural areas. Food prices have increased with a direct impact especially on the poor. Yemen is recurrently affected by both man-made and natural disasters including earthquakes, floods, epidemics and tropical/semi-tropical diseases.
In response to these challenges, the Yemen Red Crescent Society (YRCS) is expected to enhance its role of contributing to improving lives and livelihoods in line with its strategy for 2007-2011 and Strategy 2020 of the International Federation. The recommendations of a management review are expected to enable YRCS to perform as a strong National Society with improving accountability anchored in the continuing organizational development and change. Developing core capacities for planning, programming and coordination will enhance the ability to deliver efficient and effective service, while advances in financial sustainability is a key priority to enhance the prospect of self reliance.
Developing a new YRCS strategy for 2012-2016, including a resource mobilisation strategy linked to Strategy 2020, will be an important process in 2011. Consolidating the humanitarian and social development services of YRCS in disaster management and health and care with programmes that increase the focus on local level disaster risk reduction and developing community based health and first aid. In organizational development the leadership skills and competencies at headquarter and branch levels will be enhanced.
The combined focus on disaster risk reduction and community based health and first aid will be based on a holistic National Society development approach including gender mainstreaming and intensified capacity building (ICB) with increasing local level structures and capacities. To ensure sustainable results, YRCS will increase and consolidate its local outreach that can ensure relevant capacity building and participation of community volunteers including females and the youth. Integrating the Fundamental Principles and Values in the work forms part of the broad-based approach to influence positive behaviour and reduce stigma and discrimination with increasing respect for human dignity.
Targets populations include:
- Communities at risk and those affected by localized disasters including flash floods and land slides. (Strategy 2020 - Save lives, protects livelihoods, and strengthens recovery from disaster and crises).
- Communities with little or no access to basic health services including mothers and children (Strategy 2020 - enable healthy and safe living).
- YRCS leaders, managers, volunteers and staff as well as community organizations/civil societies (Strategy 2020 - development of a Strong NS).
Dissemination of Principles and values (Strategy 2020 - Promote social inclusion and a culture of non-violence and peace). This programme is principally implemented in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Some basic aspects of dissemination are also implemented as integral components of most of the activities supported by the International Federation.
The total 2011 budget is CHF 784,943 (USD 798,615or EUR 572,625).