The European Commission has adopted a € 11 million program to support the Yemeni government's attempts to improve food security and alleviate poverty in the country.
The program seeks to reduce poverty and restore the entitlement to food by increasing the human, social and physical capital of the poorest population in the three coastal provinces of Hajja, Hodeidah and Taiz.
According to SABA news agency, employment opportunities and income-generating activities will be created in these provinces, targeting especially the most food insecure and vulnerable households.
Under the program, € 7.2 million are directed to infrastructure development, including the construction of small-scale irrigation schemes, dams, villageaccess roads and the upgrading of water management systems as well as institutional capacity building and community development.
An additional € 1.2 million is earmarked for Yemen's social Welfare Fund while another € 1.2 million will help establish a food security and vulnerability food system to assist the government in identifying areas where future interventions are needed.
The remaining €1.4 million is going to be devoted to technical assistance, to follow up on the program's overall implementation.
The EU assistance will be made available to Yemen in two phases: a € 5 million allocation from the 2004 budget and a € 6 million allocation from the 2005 budget.
The Head of the European Commission Delegation to Jordan, Ambassador Robert Van der Muelen, who is also accredited to Yemen, stressed that the program comes in support of Sanaa's own five-year Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, launched in 2002.
In addition to this new food security program, the European Commission is also granting a € 2 million to non-governmental organizations working in areas of women empowerment and food security, Ambassador Van der Meulen added. (menareport.com)
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