New World Bank Project Will Support Sustainable Fisheries in Yemen

WASHINGTON — The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved today a US$45 million grant to support the sustainable fishery management in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

The grant from the World Bank’s International Development Association aims to enhance economic opportunities in Yemen, improve food security and help more efficiently manage fishery production, as well as strengthen mechanisms for regional collaborative management of fisheries in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden region.

Among other goals, the project seeks to revitalize and more effectively manage the fishery sector in select areas in Yemen; increase food availability and create livelihood opportunities for Yemeni households involved in the fishery value chain. The project will work with local partners, fishery cooperatives and associations, fishery communities, and the private sector to both protect fish and their ecosystems.

Yemen is a member of the Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA), and is the first of seven member countries to benefit from the Program on Sustainable Fishery Development in Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (SFISH). Through SFISH, the region will enhance regional cooperation for sustainable fishery management in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Yemen’s coastline is 2,520 km long and its abundant fish resources provide both livelihoods and nutrition for the coastal population. Prior to the conflict, Yemen was a major fish producer, with more than 350 species of fish and other marine life found in its territorial waters – including 65 commercially important species. The total fish catch was about 160,000 tons in 2015, mostly from artisanal fishing. However, the conflict caused severe damage to the entire fishery value chain, and decimated capacity for appropriate management of the valuable fishery stocks, particularly in coastal areas, which puts Yemen’s fisheries at serious risk of depletion.

“For coastal communities, fisheries are a vital source of livelihoods and nutrition. This project will not only support them but also help diversify the economy, create high-value jobs and ensure that marine resources are managed sustainably,” said Tania Meyer, World Bank Country Manager for Yemen.

Since its re-engagement in Yemen in 2016, the World Bank has supported the Yemeni people through a large, grant-based program totaling US$2.8 billion. The World Bank provides technical expertise to design projects and guides their implementation by building stronger partnerships with UN agencies and local institutions who have implementation capacity on the ground.