New World Bank Group Country Engagement Note to Support the People of Yemen and Preserve the Institutions that Serve Them

WASHINGTON — The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today endorsed a new two-year Country Engagement Note (CEN) for Yemen. The World Bank Group’s overarching goal is to support the people of Yemen and preserve the institutions that serve them. The WBG will stay engaged in Yemen across multiple possible scenarios, with a focus on: (i) basic service delivery and human capital; and (ii) food security, resilience, and livelihood opportunities. At the heart of the humanitarian-development nexus, institutional preservation will remain a fundamental objective of the IDA program across the two tracks.

“Our $2.8bn program reflects the World Bank’s investment in preserving Yemen’s development assets, and our hope for a better future for a generation of young Yemenis who have grown up in the shadow of war but will play a key role in the recovery” said Tania Meyer, Country Manager for Yemen. “By increasing our support at this critical juncture, we are affirming our unwavering commitment to the people of Yemen and the institutions that serve them”.

The World Bank Group’s engagement in Yemen since 2016 has influenced wider Bank policy on FCV and helped to define a model for engagement during active conflict. It informed the decision to create the Remaining Engaged during Conflict Allocation (RECA), an acknowledgment that IDA can deliver results at scale in conflict settings, preserving institutions, service delivery and human capital through partnerships with UN agencies and local institutions.

The war in Ukraine, one of the world’s breadbaskets, is already having a significant impact on food prices worldwide. The CEN recognizes that with a worsening food crisis and widespread malnutrition in Yemen, short-term interventions alone cannot provide sustainable solutions. To help break the cycle of aid dependency, the World Bank will pilot a “continuum of support” approach that bundles short-term and resilience-building interventions in geographical areas where food insecurity is the highest.

The World Bank recognizes the critical role of the private sector in Yemen’s resilience and growth prospects. The new strategy was prepared by the three parts of the Bank Group—the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency. Together, they will redouble efforts to promote private sector-led solutions to fill infrastructure gaps, support job creation, and lay the groundwork for recovery.

Since re-engaging in Yemen in 2016, the World Bank has supported the Yemeni people through a large country-wide, grant-based program totaling US$2.8 billion. In addition to funding, the World Bank provides technical expertise to design projects and guide their implementation by building strong partnerships with UN agencies and local institutions with working capacity on the ground.

 

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