SCC restricts beggary, encourages education [Archives:2005/868/Reportage]

August 15 2005

Unofficial reports revealed that Safe Childhood Center (SCC) succeeded in extending helping hand to children to curb the phenomenon of beggary in streets of the capital city of Sana'a. The center accommodated street children under 14 and offered them help to ensure their stability in special houses.

The reports says SCC is one of a group of new organizations that profit from the Social Fund for Development (SFD), a Yemeni institution established in 1997 with the support of the World Bank, some donor organizations and the government of Yemen.

The SFD, based in one of the world poorest countries, aims to upgrading basic services: education, healthcare, and supporting income generating through saving services.

The SFD allocates over 50% of the education budget and pursues precious efforts, according to WB reports, toward extending education to remote areas in Yemen. The percentage of pupils enrolled in primary education rose from 61 to 67 percent. The government strategies aim to hit the record in enrolling children in primary schools by the advent of 2015, with special attention to female children. The preliminary advancement achieved demands expanding and rehabilitating the educational facilities, and for fulfilling education-related demands, the SFD established and rehabilitated about 798 classrooms.

Providing an access to pure water and health services is a top priority, as it constitutes 24% of the support extended by the SFD, which also currently offers 518 drinkable water projects at a cost of 1.4 billion Yemeni riyals. A hundred-thousand of Yemenis benefited from a new healthcare focusing on involving the local communities in administering and maintaining health facilities and supporting training of workers in the health sector.

Several job opportunities have been made available through the extension of social services. Additionally, the SFD intends to create more job opportunities by spreading small development projects, and over the last five years, it offers loans for 17 thousand borrowers.

Yasser al-Jammal, President of SFD team at the WB said the special part concerned with micro funding of the project is one of the ways pursued by the project to bridge the gap between the two sexes. Women in different parts of Yemen, he added, have utilized their skills and become project proprietors. Such activities enabled them to benefit in a new form from saving and loan services.

The successful project helped provide $90 million for the second phase in which value of pledges rose to $175 million to cover the period 2001-2003. By virtue of other donor countries, the WB is making the necessary arrangements for the third phase including the supply of 400 million dollars to cover the period 2004-2009.