The U.S. Government has partnered with the people of Yemen since 1959 to address the humanitarian and development needs of the country. As a result of the ongoing civil war, Yemen is suffering the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. USAID is working with international and local partners to rebuild key social and economic institutions, help address the underlying causes of instability, and build the foundation for durable peace and prosperity to foster Yemen’s future resilience.
The multi-layered, multi-actor conflict in Yemen poses enormous challenges to a negotiated resolution. The resulting destruction of infrastructure, livelihoods and social services has weakened the resilience of Yemen’s communities and governance systems. While only parts of Yemen have been on the war’s frontlines, every governorate has felt its effects. Solving the security, economic, political, and social issues facing Yemen will require strengthening community level capacities to identify and address grievances, reinforce social cohesion, and promote the peaceful resolution of differences.
USAID’s RESPONSE AND EXPECTED RESULTS
Yemen’s A Future Called Peace program focuses on strengthening youth leader capacity in conflict analysis and conflict transformation by increasing key skills such as conflict analysis and conflict transformation by increasing key skills such as conflict analysis, dialogue facilitation, and designing participatory community interventions of young women and men ages 20-35. Trained youth leaders lead conflict scans within their local communities to identify sources of community conflicts and tension; facilitate community discussions in order to prioritize sources of conflict or tension, and develop community interventions to address grievances and other sources of conflict. Stakeholders are expected to include tribal-based groups, religious leaders, women, youth, political parties, local leaders, and other relevant actors. Youth leaders work with their communities including local authorities and traditional leaders to develop proposals for inclusive and accountable community-based initiatives. Some community initiatives include bringing conflict actors together to peacefully resolve their differences through trust building and dialogue. In other cases, community initiatives may include infrastructure projects such as expanding or repairing water pipeline grids, constructing flood barriers, equipping local healthcare facilities, and similar type projects. Youth Leader Exchanges and Networks bring together youth leaders in regional meetings and online forums providing youth leaders opportunities to network, share experiences and exchange lessons learned.
USAID’s Yemen Communities Stronger Together (YCST) program uses the participatory action for community enhancement (PACE) model that to identify and support local-level initiatives that mitigate conflict, strengthen social cohesion, and promote the peaceful resolution of differences. PACE provides a step-by-step framework for building the capacity of community members, CSOs, the private sector, traditional leaders, and local government officials to collaboratively identify and address community issues through conflict mitigation and service delivery projects. YCST also builds the capacity of formal and informal leaders, organizations and networks to serve as neutral arbitrators and peace-builders that can meet community and constituent needs. YCST also has a small grants mechanism. Grants might support: positive engagement of youth in community and civic life, build unity and tolerance across historical or other divides, promote the use of innovative tools to reconnect communities and reignite pride in commonalities, amplify women’s participation in community peace-building and/or service delivery, etc.
Through this program USAID is piloting stabilization programming in four communities. Stabilization programming supports locally legitimate authorities to rapidly and effectively respond to citizen priorities that, if addressed, will contribute to a reduction in or the risk of localized violent conflict, including through strengthening citizen perceptions that their local authorities are credible and capable. The USAID/Yemen developed stabilization assessment framework is also being tested as part of this programming. Lessons learned will be used to adapt this methodology for future use.