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Japan and FAO sign a project agreement to enhance the food security and nutrition of vulnerable families in Yemen


On 29 October 2021, Japan signed an agreement with FAO to contribute USD 7 million (JPY 771 000 000) to enhance the food security and nutrition of vulnerable internally displaced, agro-pastoral and pastoral families in Yemen. The funding agreement was signed today in Rome by H.E. Mr OE Hiroshi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Italy and FAO Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol. This generous contribution by the Government of Japan comes after a similar contribution in 2019 in which Japan supported FAO’s emergency work in Yemen with USD 8 million (JPY 891 000 000).

Yemen remains one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. After six years of devastating conflict, more than 16 million people are facing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above), despite ongoing humanitarian assistance. Overall, there are more than 4 million internally displaced people in Yemen, uprooted by conflict and facing high levels of acute food insecurity. The COVID-19 pandemic generated further shocks to an already weak economy, the impacts of which have been felt hardest by the most vulnerable households. With reduced incomes, deteriorating purchasing power and rising food prices, most households are increasingly relying on humanitarian food assistance and other unsustainable coping strategies to meet their daily food needs. Due to the compounded effects of conflict, COVID-19 and economic collapse, an estimated 8 million Yemenis have lost their livelihoods. Additionally, heavy rainfall in 2021 resulted in intense flooding, which destroyed crops, homes and water infrastructure in Aden, Abyan, Al Dhale’e, Lahj, Hadramaut, Ma’rib, and Ta’iz Governorates.

With this contribution from Japan, FAO will carry out emergency activities to safeguard livelihoods and provide critical lifesaving support to 189 490 vulnerable people. Through this project, FAO will increase safe access to fuel and energy through the construction of traditional, energy-efficient clay stoves, one for each beneficiary household. The stoves will be constructed via a cash-for-work modality by selected unemployed internally displaced youths and sufficiently able people with disabilities whom FAO will train on construction of the stoves. FAO will also equip them with the necessary tools and materials. The cash-for-work approach will enhance income-generating opportunities among the selected trainees who can be employed to construct additional stoves for neighboring host community households as well as for internally displaced households through future interventions by humanitarian actors.

FAO will also work with community animal health workers to provide basic animal health care services to pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in remote areas. Through this component, FAO will enhance livestock production and productivity by supporting and training households to (i) improve their capacity to produce nutritious food of animal origin for their own consumption and/or sale in the local markets, (ii) improve access to high quality feed through distributing feed concentrates, feed blocks and minerals, (iii) improve fodder quality and (iv) develop good animal husbandry practices. This will not only contribute to enhancing food availability and access; reducing acute food insecurity and malnutrition; and the recovery of livelihoods and household incomes, but also ensures the nutritional value of the household and community-wide food baskets.

Finally, FAO will focus on strengthening community land and water management through the rehabilitation of water infrastructure, solar pumps and use of highly efficient and improved modern irrigation systems and water conveyance systems. Food-insecure households will also be supported through conditional cash transfers via cash for work during the lean season to repair and build critical community water infrastructure.