World Bank Approves $150 Million to Bolster Health and Nutrition in Yemen

by Ella

The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank has given the green light to an International Development Association (IDA) grant amounting to $150 million for the Yemen Emergency Human Capital Project (YEHCP). This additional financing, referred to as AF2, is aimed at sustaining and improving vital health, nutrition, water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services while fortifying Yemen’s healthcare and systems in the midst of ongoing challenges.

Yemen has faced a series of devastating crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, measles outbreaks, a cholera epidemic, a locust invasion, and flooding, alongside escalating food prices, food insecurity, and fragmented service delivery. These events have collectively strained the nation’s ability to address fundamental needs.


Focusing on Four Key Areas

The YEHCP primarily targets four key areas:


Healthcare and Nutrition: Enhancing healthcare and nutrition services at primary healthcare centers and hospitals.


Water Supply and Sanitation: Strengthening water supply and sanitation services.


Local Systems: Building the resilience of local systems.

Comprehensive Project Support: Providing comprehensive project support and management.

This additional funding aims to bolster institutional capacity and empower the health, water, and sanitation systems to enhance the coverage and quality of essential services. It also seeks to bolster resilience against cyclical infectious disease outbreaks. Part of this enhancement includes improving surveillance, early detection services, and the expertise of healthcare professionals.

Additionally, the funding will support the health information management system in collecting high-quality data for health policy formulation and service delivery.

According to World Bank data, as of March 31, 2023, the project had already served 8.4 million beneficiaries, surpassing its initial target. The health and nutrition program alone has benefited over 4.49 million women and more than three million children, with critical maternal and child health services provided at over 2,000 healthcare facilities. Furthermore, water supply and sanitation measures have offered improved access to over 450,000 individuals, with 48.5 percent being women and girls.

Despite these efforts, the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) reveals that 17 million people in Yemen still grapple with acute food insecurity. Acute malnutrition affects two million children and 1.3 million pregnant and lactating women, underscoring the urgency of the situation.

Tania Meyer, the World Bank Country Manager for Yemen, emphasized the critical nature of the situation, stating, “In 2023 alone, nearly 21.6 million people, which is roughly three-quarters of the population and includes a staggering 12.9 million children, are in dire need of assistance.” She stressed the importance of preserving essential health, nutrition, and WASH services while strengthening local delivery systems and called for continued collaboration and innovation among partners to address the country’s challenges.

Since 2016, the World Bank’s comprehensive program for Yemen has provided $3.9 billion in IDA grants. In addition to financial support, the World Bank lends technical expertise to design and guide projects, forging partnerships with UN agencies and local institutions actively working on the ground to make a meaningful impact.



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