A USAID Grant for MoLA and UNDP’s Decentralization and local Development Support Programme [Archives:2004/776/Local News]

September 27 2004

(Monday, 20 September 2004) An agreement was signed Monday at the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MoPIC) between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), whereby USAID is contributing around US $ 1.6 million to the Decentralization and local Development Support Programme (DLDSP) executed jointly by MoLA, UNDP and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).
A UNDP press release on 21 September mentioned the agreement was signed by Dr. Douglas Heisler, Representative of USAID in Yemen, Ms. Flavia Pansieri, UNDP Resident Representative, and their Excellencies Mr. Ahmed Mohammed Sofan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Mr. Sadek Amin Abu Ras, Minister of Local Administration, and Mr. Thomas C. Krajeski, the Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of Yemen. The signing ceremony was also attended by a number of senior officials from USAID, UNDP and the Government of Yemen.
“The support by UNDP and USAID to improve decentralization and local development is highly appreciated”, according to a statement on the occasion by H.E. Mr. Ahmed Mohammed Sofan. “It is hoped that more support can be channeled to this important area in order to achieve greater democracy”. On his part, H.E. Mr. Sadek Amin Abu Ras expressed his gratitude, on behalf of the government of Yemen, to the support his Ministry is receiving to enhance its efforts to achieve participatory local administration that is in line with the principles set forth in the Constitution of the Republic of Yemen.
H.E. Thomas C. Krajeski, the US Ambassador to Yemen, expressed his happiness to provide, on behalf of the American people, this grant for the important area of decentralization. He also affirmed that his team will work closely with MoLA, UNDP and other donors to make this effort a success. Finally, Ms Flavia Pansieri, the UNDP Resident Representation, commended the support of USAID to this pivotal area of Yemen's development efforts, and considered it a cornerstone for increasing public participation and achieving democracy, not only in the major urban centers, but also in rural areas. She also expressed her satisfaction that this programme is expanding to serve new parts of the country.
It is noteworthy that he DLDSP aims to support the decentralization reform process, build the capacity of local Authorities, improve local-level governance, and alleviate poverty through local development. The project is currently being implemented in a number of districts in the governorates of Taiz and Hadramout. With the USAID grant, MoLA and UNDP will expand to 8 other districts in the Governorates of Al-Jawf and Abyan. The programme builds on the law 4/2000 and subsequent regulations, legal frameworks, and institutional and policy capacity.
The programme works at both the policy and the local levels. It aims to increase the capacity of MoLA and other local Authroities, enchancing public participation in public expenditures and decision-making, and developing the legal framework that institutionalizes transparent local tendering.