FAO begins activities under the EU joint programme for enhancing resilience and self-reliance in crisis affected Yemeni communities (ERRY)

FAO begins activities under the EU joint programme for enhancing resilience and self-reliance in crisis affected Yemeni communities (ERRY)


The three-year EU-supported joint programme entitled “Enhancing Rural Resilience in Yemen” (ERRY) was signed 15th December 2015 by the European Delegation, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and activities have now begun.

The crisis in Yemen is not only humanitarian and political, it is also a development crisis. It will not resolve itself with the end of the conflict. The joint programme takes an integrated and bottom-up approach to strengthening resilience in affected communities and links relief, rehabilitation and development.

“This joint programme responds to the immediate needs of the humanitarian and food security crisis and at the same time it will build the Yemenis resilience to shocks and lay the ground work for long-term sustainable food security improvement” said Salah El Hajj Hassan, FAO Representative in Yemen.

The overall objective of the joint programme is to enhance the resilience and self-reliance of crisis-affected rural communities through support to livelihoods stabilization and recovery, local governance and improved access to sustainable energy. It will be implemented in four governorates: Hajjah, Hodeidah, Lahj and Abyan.

The joint programme will achieve two outcomes: (i) Communities are better able to manage local risks and shocks for increased economic self-reliance and enhanced social cohesion, and (ii) Institutions are responsive, accountable and effective to deliver services, build the social contract and meet community identified needs.

FAO has contributed to 3 joint-planning and coordination meetings since the signature of the programme, on 27th January 2016 in Amman, 23rd February in Sana’a and 1st March in Amman. A work plan for the first year of the programme was developed, and is regularly reviewed.  Staff recruitment process has started. Technical teams from all partner agencies meet every two weeks.

A careful pre-selection of specific target locations of intervention to cover the most vulnerable population and to avoid fuelling potential conflict is currently under discussion and will be submitted to the national authorities for approval. With more than USD 8.5 million granted through this joint programme, FAO will be able to improve the livelihoods of 28,000 farmers. “The programme will enhance the independence of farmers by promoting sustainable value chains and with the establishment of FAO’s flagship "Farmer Field Schools” to increase the farming and production capacities, and help in framing a commercial oriented production”, said Salah El Hajj Hassan.

The Farmer Field School approach is a successful community-based practically oriented field study programme that provides farmers an opportunity to learn together, improve their skills and knowledge on a wide range of topics relevant to the livelihoods of rural farmers and to develop income generating activities.

FAO will identify key agricultural value chain opportunities through market assessment and participatory community validation; provide inputs to farmers for the realisation of the value chain; establish Farmer Field Schools (FFS); provide technical support to water user associations to ensure sustainable water supply to some of the selected value chains and training to selected farmers on skills required for value chain development.

“Our intervention will have a multiplier effect that will maximize the reach throughout the program. We will be working on behaviour change in agriculture, by introducing new techniques and best practices” said Etienne Peterschmitt, FAO Deputy Representative in Yemen. FAO will also empower 30 Water User Associations (WUAs) to promote better water management and reduce local conflicts over water resources.

The joint programme will be implemented in coordination with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and targets four Governorates. It is financed by the European Union for a total budget of USD 34.8 million, building on the strength of the respective participating UN agencies. The legal documents were signed in Brussels by Bettina Muscheidt (EU) and in Amman by Mikiko Tanaka (UNDP), Salah El Hajj Hassan (FAO), Purnima Kashyap (WFP) and Patrick Daru (ILO).

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