updated: 11.12.08
IFAD in Yemen

IFAD has been financing development initiatives in Yemen since 1979. Yemen was one of the first countries to receive loans from the organization. To date IFAD has financed 19 development programmes and projects in Yemen, with a total of US$190.9 in loans. The total cost of the programmes and projects co-funded by IFAD is US$600.0 million.  Early IFAD-funded initiatives supported the country’s development strategy, promoting crop intensification in the most suitable areas and building institutional capacity. The primary goal was to improve food security. Later programmes and projects addressed the isolation and marginalization of poor rural people and their exclusion from the benefits of economic activities.

The organization invests in programmes and projects in the poorest, marginalized parts of the country, particularly in remote coastal areas and rugged, mountainous zones. The objective is to empower poor people to improve their incomes and standards of living. IFAD supports activities to reduce poverty and conserve natural resources, particularly diminishing renewable water supplies.

There are six IFAD-funded projects currently ongoing in Yemen. Recent operations include an area-based development project in Dhamar and further support for environmental protection in the Tihama Plain.

IFAD’s 2000-2007 country programme in Yemen helped participating communities establish 450 community development committees and formulate village development plans that are gradually being incorporated into local government planning and budgeting processes. Completed investments in the plans have provided safe drinking water to some 120,000 households, improved the access of isolated communities to markets and services, and provided animal drinking water and irrigation. They have also provided agricultural services in extension and crop protection that have helped increase crop yields.

Proposed initiatives have the aim of improving the livelihoods  of poor people in fishing villages on the south-west coast, and of poor farmers and herders in the Al Baidha, Taiz and Lahej governorates.

IFAD has forged strong partnerships in Yemen, working with the government, the International Development Association, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Islamic Development Bank, and the governments of Italy and the Netherlands.

IFAD’s strategy in Yemen

IFAD’s new country strategic opportunities programme (COSOP) for Yemen covers the period from 2008 to 2013. Its aim is to integrate IFAD’s programme into the country’s poverty reduction strategies and plans for development. The strategic objectives are aligned with the Millennium Development Goals and with Yemen’s national poverty reduction strategy and rural development strategy, as well as with IFAD’s own Strategic Framework 2007-2010.

The target of IFAD’s country programme in Yemen includes poor rural people – men, women and young people – and especially those who depend on rainfed agriculture and livestock production systems. The goal of the country programme is to achieve improved, diversified and sustained livelihoods  for these people.

The new COSOP states the strategic objectives of IFAD’s initiatives in Yemen:

  • empower rural communities
  • promote sustainable rural financial services and pro-poor rural small and medium-sized enterprises
  • enhance the food security of poor households

All of the organization’s initiatives work towards achieving direct participation of the people involved, as well as gender balance and environmental sustainability. Gender activities will contribute to the gender mainstreaming strategy that the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation has developed with the support of other donors. Its key objectives are the access of women to extension services, land, microfinance and time-saving technologies.

A key ingredient of IFAD’s strategy in Yemen is developing partnerships to achieve synergies and complimentarity. To empower rural communities, IFAD will work with the government to improve linkages between community institutions, civil society organizations and local government structures. To promote sustainable rural financial services, IFAD will support the development of savings and credit associations for poor people in remote rural areas and a broader reach of microcredit organizations.

To enhance food security, IFAD will support efforts to restore and increase productivity, working with communities, farmers’ and trade organizations, and the private sector. It will team up with the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and other potential partners to encourage measures for adapting to climate change.  Innovations will include sustainable measures promoting better management of water resources and development of rural financial products, such as crop insurance, to lessen risk.


Source: IFAD


Projects: 19

Total cost:
US$594.0 million

Total loan amount: US$190.9 million

Directly benefiting: 559,240 households

Contact information

Mr Omer Zafar
Country programme manager
Via Paolo Di Dono, 44
00142 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 0654592348
Fax: +39 0654593348