IFAD to provide funds for YemenInvest - Rural Employment Programme

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IFAD to provide funds for YemenInvest - Rural Employment Programme

Job creation for youth in rural economies 

Rome, 8 November 2012 – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will extend a grant of US$9.07 million to the Republic of Yemen to finance the YemenInvest – Rural Employment Programme with the goal of improving the economic status of poor rural households.

Khalid Abdulrahman Al-Akwa, Ambassador of the Republic of Yemen to Italy and Permanent Representative to the Rome-based UN agencies, and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD, signed the financing agreement today.

Yemen is emerging from a deep political and economic crisis. Poverty rose to nearly 55 per cent in 2011 with more than half of Yemen's children  considered chronically malnourished. In rural areas, where 70 per cent of the population live, the figures are even worse. Yemen's key development challenges include severe water scarcity, very high unemployment and a burgeoning youth population.

Job creation is critical for the success of the current transition, and for long term development. YemenInvest will support small businesses in rural sectors such as agriculture, natural stone and handloom textiles. It will be managed by the Economic Opportunities Fund, a public-private partnership established in Yemen in 2010 with support from IFAD, the European Union and the Islamic Development Bank.

The initial focus of the programme will be in the governorates of: Abyan, Al Baida, Dhamar, Hajjah, Hodeidah, Lahj and Taiz  where YemenInvest will generate 28,000 full-time jobs over five years. Specific incentives will be provided for SMEs to hire and train unemployed women and youth.

With this new programme, IFAD will have financed 22 programmes and projects in Yemen since 1979 for a total IFAD investment of $232.9 million, benefiting 578,975 households.

Press release No.: IFAD/66/2012
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested almost US$14,3 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries through projects empowering about 400 million people to break out of poverty, thereby helping to create vibrant rural communities. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the United Nations' food and agriculture hub. It is a unique partnership of 168 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)