YEMEN—The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), funded 24 water, electrification, and sewage management projects proposed and prioritized by local residents in Yemen. Over the past four years, USAID’s Yemen Communities Stronger Together program rehabilitated schools, health clinics, parks, and playgrounds under a program that has benefited more than 400,000 Yemenis.
Through this program, USAID supported local initiatives that mitigated conflict, strengthened social cohesion, and promoted peaceful resolution of differences to prevent a resurgence of violence in communities. Global Communities and institutional partners Build Up, Partners for Good, and the Field Medical Foundation implemented the program in partnership with local communities.
Since 2018, USAID worked with residents to improve or rehabilitate water, electricity, medical, educational, and recreational facilities in communities across Abyan, Aden, Lahj, and Taiz governorates.
“As communities came together to discuss and prioritize issues of joint concern, they saw the benefit of collaboration which promoted community reconciliation in ways that reduced tensions that could have otherwise escalated into violence,” said USAID/Yemen Country Director Kimberlee Bell. “With USAID support, Yemeni communities were able to repair aging water networks, upgrade power utility grids, and form groups where young people learned to express themselves and become leaders.”
USAID also awarded peacebuilding grants for 25 activities to strengthen local leaders, organizations, and networks to serve as neutral arbitrators and peace builders. These grants helped set up initiatives and clubs for nearly 600 youth and women, discuss and resolve long-standing conflicts, raise awareness about discrimination, and bring people together to discuss solutions for a peaceful Yemen.
The USAID-funded activities contributed to a 28 percent increase in community members’ level of trust in local institutions, according to perception surveys. During interviews, local leaders said the program had positively impacted relationships between members of the community and local authorities. The program also recorded a 48 percent increase in beneficiary participation in community groups and activities. Local leaders noted that the training received had enhanced their knowledge of conflict management and strengthened their ability to identify and respond to community needs.
USAID, which has operated in Yemen since 1959, provided more than $1 billion in humanitarian relief and development support to the Yemeni people in 2022.