European Commission allocates $ 11 million for food security in Yemen [Archives:2004/759/Business & Economy]

August 29 2004

The European Commission has adopted an $11 million program to support the Yemeni government's efforts to improve food security and alleviate poverty in the country.
The programme seeks to reduce poverty and improve access to food entitlements, by increasing the human, social and physical capital of the poorest segments of the population in the three coastal provinces of Hajja, Hodeidah and Taiz. Employment opportunities and income-generating activities will be created in these three provinces, targeting especially the most insecure and vulnerable households in terms of food.
Under the programme, $7.2 million is allocated to infrastructure development – including the construction of small-scale irrigation schemes, dams, village access roads, and the upgrading of the water management system – as well as building institutional capacity and community development.
An additional $1.2 million is allocated to strengthening Yemen's Social Welfare Fund, whilst another $1.2 million will help establish a food security and vulnerability information system, to assist the government in identifying areas where further interventions are needed, with the ultimate goal of more effectively poverty fighting.
The remaining $1.4 million is going to be devoted to technical assistance, to follow up on the programme's overall implementation.
The EU assistance will be made available to Yemen through two allocations: a $5 million allocation from the 2004 budget and a $6 million allocation from the 2005 budget.
This latest food security programme reflects the Commission's firm commitment to encouraging development in a country where around 40% of the population lives under the poverty line. It brings the total food security assistance granted by the EU to Yemen up to $68 million since 1996.
The Head of the European Commission Delegation to Jordan, Ambassador Robert van der Meulen, who is also accredited to Yemen, stressed that the programme comes in support of Sana'a's own five-year Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, launched in 2002.
In addition to this new food security programme, the European Commission is also granting $2 million to non-governmental organizations working in the areas of women's empowerment and food security, Ambassador van der Meulen added.