UN official stresses “development in Yemen as well as relief aid”

UN official stresses “development in Yemen as well as relief aid”

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Achim Steiner stressed that urgent relief assistance must be combined with the government's longer-term development efforts, in order to avoid the long-term aggravation of the crisis in Yemen.

Steiner said that the "relief now and development" approach could not provide an appropriate approach that would preserve peace and promote post-conflict prosperity.

"In order for Yemenis to achieve long-term prosperity and to remain hopeful in the future, we must channel aid in a way that saves lives while maintaining jobs, education, health care and working markets," he said.

This effort is a major change in how conflict relief organizations intervene to help people in need in Yemen, he said.

He noted that the work of UNDP was based on an innovative approach that provided funding for development efforts and for strengthening the resilience of communities by maintaining continuity in the provision of public services, supporting small business activities that helped communities to cope with the deteriorating economy, and providing cash liquidity directly to farmers and fishermen to maintain production.

"Thanks to this funding, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been able to collaborate with local institutions to help millions of Yemenis earn money through cash-for-work programs," Steiner said.

He stressed that the neutrality of the program helps him to work through the current political cleavages in Yemen, and working with local institutions enables the program to build a lifeline to provide vital services to the war-affected Yemenis.

After four years of war, Yemen is witnessing the worst humanitarian crisis, with 80% of the population needing some form of humanitarian assistance or protection, and about 10 million Yemenis live on the brink of famine, according to the UN program.

In addition to the humanitarian crisis, the economy is on the verge of collapse, and people cannot go to school, have access to health care or have sufficient income.


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