Washington, June 30, 2022 — The World Bank has approved an additional US$100 million for the second phase of the Yemen Emergency Electricity Access Project, which is designed to Improve access to electricity in rural and peri-urban areas in Yemen and to plan for the restoration of the country’s power sector. This new funding builds on activities supported by a US$50 million parent project, which began in 2018.
The grant from the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, the International Development Association (IDA), will provide 3.5 million people, of whom an estimated 48% (1,680,000) are women and girls, with new or improved services to electricity. It will also provide around 700 public services facilities and 100 schools with new or improved electricity services, helping Yemenis to have better access to critical services. The project will be implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in collaboration with local stakeholders.
Yemen's rural and peri-urban electrical power sector was not spared from the ravages of the war. The few rural and peri-urban areas that received power from the grid before the conflict began in 2015 have either seen their infrastructure destroyed or cannot get electricity because too little is being generated by the main grid.
Without electricity, health facilities have been unable to operate after sunset, nor store medicines, nor run medical equipment; water wells have been unable to pump clean drinking water contributing to the outbreak of water-borne illnesses; and educational institutions have struggled to function. Even in cities where critical power infrastructure remains intact, assets often sit idle due to fuel shortages. All these factors contribute to Yemen's humanitarian crisis, which disproportionately affects Yemen's poorest and most vulnerable rural and peri-urban residents.
The World Bank has helped develop solar energy solutions for schools, health facilities, and drinking water facilities and has encouraged the development of a private sector-driven market for generating renewable, off-grid electricity.
“By electrifying public health centers and schools, the project will help preserve and develop Yemen’s greatest asset: its human capital” said Tania Meyer, World Bank Country Manager for Yemen. “Through the project, small and innovative businesses will be able to gain access to solar systems, encouraging job creation, and economic recovery".
World Bank program that is supported by IDA has reached US$2.8 billion in grants to Yemen since 2016. The World Bank has provided the technical expertise to design projects and guide their implementation by building stronger partnerships with a number of UN agencies, including the World Health Organisation, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Children’s Fund, Food and Agriculture Organization, and UNOPS, all of which have working capacity on the ground in Yemen.