United Nations

A/50/301


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

21 July 1995

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Item 20 (b) of the provisional agenda*


          STRENGTHENING OF THE COORDINATION OF HUMANITARIAN AND DISASTER
          RELIEF ASSISTANCE OF THE UNITED NATIONS, INCLUDING SPECIAL
          ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE:  SPECIAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE TO
INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES OR REGIONS

Assistance to Yemen

Report of the Secretary-General


I.  INTRODUCTION

1.  At  its forty-eighth  session, the General  Assembly, by its  resolution
48/195,  requested   the  Secretary-General   to  keep   under  review   the
implementation of all  relevant previous resolutions on assistance to  Yemen
and to submit  to it at  its fiftieth session a comprehensive  report on the
implementation  of  those  resolutions.    In  its  resolution  47/179,  the
Assembly  took   note  of  the  challenges  facing  Yemen  as  a  result  of
unification, the  return of  Yemeni expatriates,  the flow  of refugees  and
recent  natural disasters and  called on the international community, Member
States  and all  United  Nations organizations,  including  the  specialized
agencies, to assist in addressing the emergency situation, to help Yemen  in
mobilizing  its own resources and to provide assistance to the Government in
its reconstruction and development efforts.


II.  MOBILIZATION OF INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE

A.  Emergency recovery programme

2.   Following the conflict  between Iraq and  Kuwait and to  deal with  the
returnee  needs ranging  from  infrastructure to  employment  creation,  the
World Bank and the Government, together  with the United Nations Development
Programme

________________________

  *  A/50/150.

95-21884 (E)   280795/...

*9521884*
(UNDP) and other  United Nations system  agencies, developed a multisectoral
emergency  recovery  programme  in the  amount  of  US$  245  million.   The
programme was  designed to  cover the  country's needs  in a  wide range  of
sectors including road construction, education, agriculture and housing.

3.  To date, the World  Bank has mobilized $60 million in credits and grants
for an  emergency recovery  project, including  $33 million  from the  World
Bank/  International Development  Association (IDA),  $15 million  from  the
United  States Agency for International Development (USAID) and $4.5 million
from  Germany. UNDP provided  $400,000 to  Yemen from  the Special Programme
Resources in support of countries affected by the  crisis in order to assist
the Government's management unit, which is coordinating the project.

4.   Activities  targeted to  programme  objectives  by the  United  Nations
Capital  Development  Fund  (UNCDF),  the  United  Nations  Children's  Fund
(UNICEF), the  Netherlands and others bring  total funds  available for this
programme to  $86 million.   This leaves a  funding gap of  $159 million  to
implement  the programme  fully.    In the  meantime, 60  per cent  of World
Bank/IDA funds  and 25  and 95  per cent  respectively of  USAID and  German
funds have been disbursed to date.


B.  Response of United Nations system

1.  United Nations Children's Fund

5.   UNICEF  responded  to  the country's  emergency needs  in the  areas of
returnees,  cholera control  and Somali  refugees.    In December  1990, the
Executive Director of  UNICEF approved the release  of US$ 160,000  from the
Emergency Reserve Fund in response to  the Government's appeal for emergency
relief assistance.   These  funds were used  to procure and  air freight  14
tons  of  emergency  health  and  drug  kits  to  Yemen  in  support  relief
operations in the Tihama  region.  A subsequent  release of US$ 100,000 from
the same Fund was  approved in January 1991 to procure vaccines and  support
field operations.

6.  At the request of the Government, UNICEF air-freighted a consignment  of
medical supplies worth  $22,000 into the  country to assist in  cholera case
management.

7.   During the  emergency phase  of the  influx of  refugees from  Somalia,
UNICEF provided milk and  food to the  children camped on the beach  through
Medecins sans  frontieres  (MSF) and  the Red  Crescent.   Support was  also
provided to immunize the younger children  against measles and to  establish
an oral rehydration therapy (ORT) unit.


2.  Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

8.    In  order  to  respond  to  the  emergency recovery  programme,  FAO's
programme  in Yemen has  been reoriented to  assist the  country in tackling
three main issues: conservation and management  of land and water resources,
including   forestry  and  range  management,   and  livestock  development;
establishment  of  adequate production  systems for  food  crops and  fodder
crops,  including  marketing,  storage  and  credit;  and development  of  a
participatory approach in order to improve  primary support services for the
smallholder producers by  improving effective linkages between research  and
extension.

9.    Within  this  framework,  FAO   has  conducted,  from  its   Technical
Cooperation   Resources,   an   agricultural   sector  review,   with   wide
participation  of  the Government,  universities,  private  communities  and
donors.  The study identified constraints and recommended solutions.

10.   In addition, within the Netherlands Trust Fund modality, FAO initiated

the  implementation of an environmental resources assessment for rural land-
use  planning,  based   on  a  participatory  approach,  which  will  assure
allocation of land resources according  to communities' requirements.   With
a Swiss trust fund,  FAO is strengthening the forestry and range  management
authorities  in  the  management  and  conservation  of  natural  vegetation
resources  and  implementing  a rural  family planning  project  through the
agriculture  research and extension  system.   FAO also  participated in the
initial formulation  of the UNDPcoordinated  pilot resettlement project  for
returnees in Tihama.

11.   FAO will  formulate an integrated  rural development project  in Abyan
governorate, financed by UNDP.   It is also  expected that FAO  will provide
technical assistance to the livestock sector  targeted to the family  sector
producers.  It will lead to  improvement of family income in the rural areas
and will contribute to increased job  opportunities in fodder production  in
addition to animal production.


3.  United Nations Development Programme

12.  Apart from  its contribution to the emergency recovery programme,  UNDP
provided  emergency assistance totalling $100,000 to Yemen  from the Special
Programme  Resources following  two natural  disasters.   In February  1993,
torrential  rains  and  flash floods  struck four  southern  governorates of
Aden,  Lahej, Abyan and Shabwa, leaving 38 dead,  5,530 houses destroyed and
around  33,000  homeless.    The  damage   caused  devastation  to   houses,
buildings, flood  control and  irrigation structures,  crops, livestock  and
public infrastructure. Following an appeal made  by UNDP and the  Department
of Humanitarian  Affairs of  the United  Nations Secretariat,  international
donors responded with assistance in the amount  of $390,000 from the  United
States of America, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom of  Great Britain and
Northern  Ireland, Australia  and the  Department of  Humanitarian  Affairs.
The funds,  all of which have  been disbursed, covered medicines and medical
equipment  to  treat  and  prevent  largescale  outbreaks  of   communicable
diseases and the procurement of a sewer emptier/ cleaner.  The direct  total
cost of damages caused by the February 1993  flash floods has been estimated
at  $312  million, of  which  damage  to  Aden  international airport  alone
accounted for $123 million.

13.  In May  1993 swarms of  locusts entered Marib and Shabwa  governorates,
causing  extensive  damage to  pasture, grain  and  fruit  farms in  an area
estimated to be 5,580 square kilometres.   UNDP provided logistical  support
for  an aerial  spraying  campaign coordinated  by  FAO and  funded  by  the
Government and the donor community.

14.  In the area of  resource mobilization, in January  1994 representatives
from  the Government  attended a  workshop on  resource mobilization through
effective aid coordination and management sponsored  by the Special Unit for
Technical Cooperation  among Developing  Countries and  the Regional  Bureau
for  Arab  States  of  UNDP.   A  substantive revision  to  improve resource
mobilization is  anticipated to the  ongoing UNDP national execution project
for capacity-building in the Ministry of Planning and Development.

15.   The first country programme  for the United Republic of  Yemen with an
original  total indicative  planning figure  of  US$  42.6 million  over the
five-year  period 1992-1996  responds to  the General  Assembly and Economic
and Social Council resolutions on assistance  to Yemen dating from  December
1990.    The  country  programme's  four  areas  of  concentration  focus on
strategic planning,  management development,  human development  and natural
resources management.  Seed  money has  been provided  to support  strategic
planning   for  the  private   sector,  health   development  and  women  in
development.  The Government has requested  UNDP's cooperation to prepare  a
country strategy note.

16.    Although  significant  sectoral  and  subsectoral studies  have  been
carried out at the country level  on vocational training, environment, water

and privatization,  which resulted  in a  number of  concrete programme  and
project  ideas, approvals  and budget  build-up  has  been much  slower than
anticipated owing to internal political conflict.   Nevertheless, as of  end
January  1994,  the  total  level  of  pipeline  projects  reached  US$ 11.1
million.  A major pipeline project ready for approval is a $4-million  water
resources management  project, with  $2 million pledged cost-sharing  by the
Netherlands.  The mid-term review  of the country programme will discuss the
four substantive areas of water, women  in development, environment and  the
public sector.

17.   Provision  of  assistance to  returnees, with  a  UNDP input  of  $1.5
million, is still under  discussion with the  Government.  Returnees are  in
need  of food, shelter,  health services,  education and  other services and
employment.    UNDP/   FAO/United  Nations  Centre  for  Human   Settlements
(Habitat) (UNCHS)  are  ready to  finalize an  integrated rural  development
project for the resettlement  of returnees in Tihama  once the land has been
allocated.    The proposed  project  will  settle  some  5,000 returnees  on
Government-selected  land  for their  sustainable employment  in agriculture
and  animal  husbandry.   It will  also  benefit  the resident  community by
providing  improved   land  use   and  productivity   and  more   employment
opportunities.


4.  World Food Programme

18.   In response to an  appeal from the Government to address the emergency
in  Aden caused  by flash floods  in February 1993,  WFP approved assistance
for 3,000 flood victims for a  period of 6 months at  a total estimated cost
of US$ 118,000.

 19.  Ethiopian and Somali refugees have been provided  with food assistance
amounting to  US$ 1.7  million to feed  an estimated  31,000 refugees  since
February 1992.  Currently, WFP continues to assist 13,000 refugees.

20.   WFP's reconstruction and development  efforts in Yemen  consist of the
development of  rural community infrastructure at  an estimated  cost of US$
13.5  million,  and  assistance  for  soil  and  water  conservation  at  an
estimated cost of US$ 6.5 million.

21.   In  the  health  and education  sector, WFP  is assisting  the country
through three projects by providing assistance  for primary education at  an
estimated cost of US$ 21.6 million, assistance to maternal  and child health
care centres  at an  estimated cost  of US$  9.5 million  and assistance  to
health-care units, hospitals and social centres.   Under the latter project,
WFP has so far provided  food assistance amounting to US$ 23.5 million.  The
project is being reformulated and the estimated cost is not yet available.


5.  United Nations Population Fund

22.   Implementation of the  UNFPA country programme  for 1992  to 1996 made
much  progress  during  1993.    Major  developments  have  focused  on  the
operationalization  of  the national  population  policy.    Seven  sectoral
workshops were organized in 1993 to review the implementation and impact  of
the  national  population policy  and  to  develop effective  mechanisms  to
integrate population variables into national development planning.

23.   In the  light of  the Government's  objectives and  priorities in  the
health  sector, UNFPA  has  approved  and operationalized  a  major  project
amounting to US$ 3 million to assist the  Government in improving the access
and the quality  of care for  maternal and child health  services, including
family planning.

24.   UNFPA  is  also  providing  assistance  in  the  area  of  population,
information,  education  and  communication.    This  is being  carried  out
through  different   sectoral  information,   education  and   communication

projects  throughout the  country, with emphasis on  developing a multimedia
approach to  encourage the  use of  reproductive health  services and  other
family  health-related  issues,  including   breast-feeding  and  also   the
prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS.

25.   UNFPA  continues to  emphasize  the  necessity of  highlighting gender
issues during the population  census and other surveys  in order to obtain a
realistic  picture  of the  socio-cultural  and  economic  status of  women,
particularly their  economic activities.  In  this connection, an  important
activity organized  in collaboration with the  University of  Sana'a was the
national workshop  on legislation related  to the status of  women in Yemen,
held in November 1993.

26.   UNFPA is  also working  with non-governmental  organizations that  are
active  in  community-based  programmes  to  assist local  families  in  the
provision of health education services.

  6.  World Health Organization

27.   WHO response to  the Government's  call for  emergency assistance  has
been in  a number  of key areas  to provide preventive  as well as  curative
health care.  Since 1990, diarrhoeal diseases  have become a top priority in
Yemen because of the large number of cases and deaths witnessed in the  last
three years.  WHO has provided  financial and technical assistance amounting
to US$ 550,000 to  the Ministry of  Public Health and related ministries  to
control   diarrhoeal  diseases.  WHO   input  for   the  control   of  other
communicable   diseases,   including  malaria,   schistosomiasis,   leprosy,
onchocerciasis,  and upper respiratory tract infections, amounted to US$ 1.5
million.

28.  In the area  of health manpower development to improve the standard  of
performance of health staff,  WHO has provided $800,000 since 1990.   Health
promotion and  disease  prevention include  a broad  spectrum of  activities
covering health education  and information, vaccination, maternal and  child
health care, and nutrition amounting to  $1.2 million.  Health management is
a  particularly weak  area in  Yemen.   To  address  this, WHO  has provided
technical  and financial  assistance to  improve the managerial  process for
national  health development  in an  amount of US$  700,000 over  the period
under review.

29.    Under  its  regular budget,  WHO  has  provided  US$  60,000  to  the
Government of Yemen for the supply of essential  drugs and vaccines, as well
as an amount of US$ 1 million annually from its Voluntary Fund.

30.   Responding to  the specific  needs of  Yemen, support and  intensified
collaboration  between the  Government and  WHO for infrastructure  in human
resource development, district  health systems based  in primary health care
and   information  systems   and  health   financing  are   funded   through
extrabudgetary funds amounting to approximately US$ 500,000 per year.


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