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Our Work

4 children in Yemen smiling
Yemeni school children take a break from their lesson to smile for the camera.

Country Profile

On September 21, 2014, after several days of fighting, President Hadi and the Houthis signed a "Peace and National Partnership Agreement," but only after the Houthis seized control of the interior ministry, the central bank, and other government and monetary institutions.  The agreement calls for the appointment of a new Prime Minister and formation of a new "technocratic" government as well as the demobilization of Houthi militants from Sana'a and other contested areas.  The Houthi siege on Sana'a threatens to derail President Hadi's stewardship of Yemen's peaceful transition under the 2011 Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative (GCC-I), which calls for the restructuring of the security sector; an inclusive national dialogue on the direction and structure of the state; election reforms; a new constitution and referendum; and national elections. These are foundational elements for Yemen's long term development. However, since the close of the National Dialogue in January 2014, President Hadi's "care taker government" has been preoccupied with a Southern offensive against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula , a fiscal crisis, a fuel and energy crisis, and Houthi territorial advances in the North.   


Owing to ongoing political unrest in Yemen, USAID programs are continuing on a limited basis subject to changes in the security situation. USAID’s assistance works to strengthen Yemen’s progress to a prosperous and resilient country by (1) advancing effective and representative democracy, (2) improving social development, and (3) increasing sustainable economic opportunities.  Our activities focus on improving the delivery of essential services including health, education, and water; improving livelihoods through infrastructure rehabilitation, agricultural productivity, and entrepreneurship; promoting inclusive decision-making and government engagement with civil society; and providing women and youth with civic, social, and economic opportunities. 


USAID is assisting in Yemen’s peaceful transition under the GCC-I by supporting the implementation of National Dialogue outcomes, the development of a democratic constitution, and the preparation for national elections.  USAID is assisting the government of Yemen to enhance the transparency and inclusiveness of Yemen’s elections by supporting the development of a new biometric voter registry system and preparing women to run for elected office. Support to domestic voter monitoring and voter education will improve citizen engagement and understanding of electoral processes under the GCC-I. USAID supports a wide range of initiatives aimed to ensure competent management of transition processes by Yemen officials and to encourage broad civic engagement and oversight of those processes.  This includes technical support to National Dialogue delegates and committees; assistance to constitution drafters on comparative international law; women peacemakers training and mobilization; tracking polling and public opinion research; and, a series of reconciliation forums to foster increased understanding and consensus among diverse stakeholders on contentious social issues. 

USAID’s assistance to community-level efforts are informing and empowering citizens—especially women and youth—to engage in this extraordinary time of change, and to work to build institutions, achieve political and economic reforms, resolve conflicts, and improve their lives and communities. USAID has developed new modes of communication between government and communities through small-scale infrastructure and service delivery projects that respond to community-identified needs.  USAID complements these activities by creating formal processes for interaction, including Project Oversight Committees for each activity and Public Governorate Forums that bring the government face-to-face with constituents to discuss local priorities.


USAID’s investments in health focus on building the capacity of Yemen’s Ministry of Public Health and Population to deliver critical, quality health services strategically targeted at the poor and vulnerable.  Projects focus on three primary technical areas: (a) integrated primary health care, namely improvement of high impact maternal, neonatal, and child health services, (b) supply chain management to help ensure an uninterrupted, timely supply of maternal/child health and reproductive health/family planning commodities, and (c) polio eradication efforts.  USAID’s efforts are designed to contribute to a reduction in maternal and infant mortality and an increase in contraceptive prevalence. For the first time since 1997, a Demographic and Health Survey report will be published in late 2014 supported by USAID, the Government of Yemen, and other donors.


USAID investments in education focus on building the capacity of Yemen’s Ministry of Education (MOE) to develop, deliver, and evaluate the new Yemen Early Grade Reading Approach (YEGRA) Phase II program which aims to improve the teaching skills and abilities of teachers of grades 1-3. Phase II of YEGRA expands on Phase I by targeting an additional 511 schools, reaching 219,560 students and 3,992 teachers.  With USAID support, revisions to the MOE curriculum and improved materials and implementation strategies based on the experience from Phase I of YEGRA have been implemented.  A media campaign has also been launched in support of YEGRA and mother and father groups have been formed to support early education.  In addition, USAID supports rehabilitation of schools by improving health and hygiene facilities, classrooms, and security.  These initiatives increase stability in the governorates and encourage enrollment and retention of students, especially girls.  


USAID investments in economic development and agriculture support Yemen’s path to economic growth. The agriculture sector, which employs 60 percent of the national workforce, is hobbled by low productivity, poor quality, inadequate financing, and lack of access to markets. Specific agriculture sector support will: address key value chain constraints, support capacity building of financial institutions to support agricultural lending, exploring alternative energy technologies, improve productivity and quality, increase market access, and work to increase the farm-gate prices of coffee, honey, horticulture, and livestock.  Additionally, USAID activities promote an enabling business environment that creates employment opportunities for men, women and youth equally. This includes support for the drafting of the Mobile Money Law and identifying financially viable products and services in the mobile money sector; increasing access to women’s livelihood activities; promoting demand-driven vocational training, job fairs and career counseling; and advancing public-private sector dialogue to support an improved business climate.  Presently, USAID supports infrastructure rehabilitation, value chain development, and microfinance and small enterprise support to help improve livelihoods for vulnerable populations.  


USAID is providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to vulnerable groups, including IDPs affected by the conflict.  USAID’s interventions focus on addressing the needs of conflict-affected populations in the north and south, and on those populations that are most affected by the country’s deteriorating economic conditions and food insecurity.  This is done through:

  • ·Livelihoods support to increase families’ ability to purchase food, water, and basic commodities;
  • ·Multi-sector programs to treat and prevent acute malnutrition and the spread of communicable diseases and reduce health-related concerns associated with inadequate water supply and poor environmental health conditions, including malnutrition;
  • ·Providing food commodities and vouchers to food insecure populations;
  • ·Humanitarian coordination and information management  in an environment with limited access, to ensure relief agencies provide a rapid and strategic response to identified needs; and
  • ·Responding in situations of sudden onset disasters and displacement by providing immediate relief items and assisting with the post-disaster return and recovery

Our approach ensures that USAID’s assistance reaches those most in need and is designed to remain flexible to respond to new requirements in an uncertain and fluid environment.

Last updated: December 15, 2017

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