Saturday, February 06, 2010

Yemen: New U.S. aid strategy

Source: United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Feb o5 - The January 27 meeting in London on Yemen, attended by Secretary Clinton, confirmed international support to Yemen while clarifying international donors' expectations of Yemen - mainly that the Yemini government needs to carry out social, economic, and political reforms in order to maximize the utility of international assistance and provide stability and opportunity for its people.

- The conference provided an opportunity to begin to come to an agreement with the Government of Yemen on a clear definition of Yemen's development challenges and a start of a common approach to addressing them.

- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a $121 million agreement in September 2009 with the Government of Yemen, which will guide USAID's cooperation over the next three years, including targeting resources to local communities where instability and weak security have caused development efforts to falter.

- As a part of its new strategy in Yemen, USAID will focus on increasing youth employment and other economic opportunities; improving government service delivery in education and health care; supporting transparent, supporting decentralized governance; agricultural programs; and empowering youth, women and other marginalized groups.

- USAID's programs will be combined with a very rigorous monitoring and evaluation process to understand better if and how its interventions impact community stability.

- Under this strategy, USAID has designed two new flagship programs to implement its new country stabilization strategy: Community Livelihoods and National Governance.

o The Community Livelihoods Program will improve the delivery of basic services, increase economic productivity, and increase community participation using specially tailored interventions in highly vulnerable areas. These interventions will utilize USAID's expertise in the areas of health, education, economic growth, agriculture, and democracy and governance. The program will be flexible in its responses to the different drivers of instability in each area of operation. A rapid response capability will be combined with longer-term development approaches. For example, a clinic might be repaired but elected local councilors will also be trained to identify, budget, plan and oversee similar development projects in response to community demands.

o The National Governance Program will work with Yemen's Ministries of Health, Education, Agriculture and their Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion Service to address related but broader government policy, institutional and capacity issues that will include the following:

+ Strengthening policy formation and implementation

+ Increasing transparency and anti-corruption

+ Improving decentralization of planning, budgeting and service delivery

+ Enhancing civil society's ability to influence policy implementation

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