Access to health, water and public services for internally displaced persons and the local population in Yemen

Project description

Title: Improving access to basic social services for internally displaced persons and the local population in central host regions in Yemen
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Yemen
Overall term: 2016 to 2019


Yemen. Supply of drinking water for a school. © GIZ


Yemen has been embroiled in a civil war since March 2015. Since then, the president officially recognised by the international community, Abdu Rabbu Mansur Hadi, has been living in exile in Saudi Arabia. Vast expanses of the country have fallen under the military control of the Houthi movement, officially called Ansar Allah. Since 2015, a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia has been carrying out airstrikes in Yemen, which has taken a major toll on the civilian population. These operations have damaged or destroyed large parts of the country’s civil infrastructure. According to estimates by the United Nations, 2.9 million people have been forced to flee from the fighting and are now considered internally displaced. Additionally, 17 million Yemenites are suffering from hunger and 19 million are dependent on humanitarian aid. Millions of people have little or no access to safe drinking water, sanitation services and health facilities. Owing to the conflict, the administrative structures needed to carry out reconstruction at local level are no longer functional. The organisational capacities of civil society are inadequate.


Access to health, water and social services for internally displaced persons and for the local population in host communities is improved.

Yemen. Soccer tournament between two schools. © GIZ


This project is helping to improve access to health, drinking water and social services in Ibb and Taiz, two regions which have been seriously affected by the conflict. It sets out to improve the living conditions of particularly needy people in the host communities as well as of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in their midst. The project is also strengthening the capacities of local administrations and other local organisations.

In cooperation with local partners, small-scale measures targeting acute needs are being implemented in communities which have become difficult to access on account of the conflict. The project works in three areas:

  1. Health centres are being made operational again to improve health care for the local population and IDPs. This includes renovating existing buildings, providing medical equipment and supplies, and conducting professional training for medical personnel and volunteers.
  2. Water and sanitation services are being upgraded and hygiene education is being promoted. As one of the priorities is supplying safe drinking water, the project is rehabilitating wells and distributing water filters.
  3. The project is strengthening the capacities of local administrations and civil society as providers of social services. For instance, schools receive support in organising activities for children outside of normal school hours. Through events such as sport competitions, the children can interact in conditions of peace; positive activities in their daily lives can counter their negative experiences with war.

The project forms part of the activities carried out under BMZ’s special initiatives on tackling the root causes of displacement, stabilising host regions and supporting refugees. The measures promoted benefit refugees and their host communities in equal measure. Adopting a sustainable approach, they are designed in the long term to alleviate the structural causes of displacement, such as social inequality and a lack of prospects. This project is improving access to water, sanitation and health services for the Yemeni population.


Health. Training in how to handle infectious diseases such as cholera has been given to 48 individuals, including health volunteers from among the IDPs. More than 2,000 people have received informational material preparing them better to tackle epidemics, such as the fast-spreading cholera virus. With support from the project, a health centre in Ibb was able to resume operations. This has improved access to basic health services for more than 25,000 individuals in the area, including 1,000 IDPs.

Water and sanitation services. 22 schools in Taiz have been equipped with water tanks, providing access to clean drinking water for 6,000 children, of whom 1,385 can be classified as internally displaced. 1,500 households have received water filters and hygiene kits along with training in domestic hygiene practices. This has enabled around 10,500 people to produce their own safe drinking water.

Social services. A football project was carried out in cooperation with a local organisation. This included a tournament involving 3,000 children from 12 schools in Taiz and Ibb. At the same time, the participating schools were fitted out with classroom furniture.

Yemen. Training of medical staff how to treat infectious diseases. © GIZ