YR 76 billion for funding Social Fund for Development’s projects [Archives:2003/677/Business & Economy]

October 16 2003

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
The Yemeni government intends to increase the proportion of its contributions to funding projects implemented by the Social Fund for Development (SFD) from this year’s amount of $ one million to $5.5 million for the year 2004. The aim is to expand activities of the Fund in public services and development.
Minister of Social Affairs and Labour, the executive manager of the SFD Abdulkareem al-Arhabi said support of donors and the World Bank (WB) for the projects it was funding was very important because Yemen is a large country and its people live in far apart population gatherings and further more the country has lived disturbed years resulting from increasing population growth.
Mr al-Arhabi has made it clear that donors evaluate outcomes of the Fund’s works as positive through a yearly sending of teams at a rate of 8-10 missions per year. The WB has assigned a specialized company for evaluation of the Fund’s performance and its success in financing services and development projects, Mr al-Arhabi has added.
SFD has in the first stage implemented 3300 projects from which about 6 million and 600 thousand persons benefited. Those projects cost YR45 million. As for the coming phase 2004-2008 there would be 4400 projects to be implemented at a cost of YR 76 billion.
The SFD also receives support of the WB and Arab donors and funds that stand by Yemen and finance development projects according to donors agreement for supporting Yemen strategy for fighting poverty. The Fund also gives attention to the remote Yemeni areas where it implements educational, and health projects and participates in local development projects, prepares income-yielding activities and a number of social and cultural programs.
The Yemeni government plan for fighting poverty aims at realizing primary education for all, improving woman’s education and work, reducing infant mortality, improving maternal and general health as well as fighting malaria and preservation of environment.
Since its foundation in 1997 the Fund has adopted the important concepts and policies of new development, promoted for them and applied them in poor and deprived areas. The fund has also adopted plans for participating with the local community in production, lowering costs of projects, developing the system of geographic information and distributing financial allotments and projects according to objective criteria and bases as well as supporting the civil society organisations.
In the third phase of 2004-2008 the Fund’s operations would be built on the acquired experience and accumulated knowledge and concentration would be on human development as it is expected the implementation of 4400 projects at this phase at a cost estimated at $400 million. Of these projects the education sector’s share would be 38% . Among the education projects there would be an implementation of projects for training and qualification, and others in agriculture, health and lending programs.