H.E. Katsuyoshi Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan to Yemen, visited Aden for the first time since 1980. Japan’s support to southern Governorates extends to a wide array of interventions towards the stabilization and economic recovery of the region including returning Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). With the generous support of the Government of Japan, UNICEF supported school rehabilitation, therapeutic health and nutrition centers and water and sanitation projects for thousands of children, parents, and teachers. The Japanese Embassy is also addressing youth unemployment and the need to create sustainable employment opportunities as well as stimulate entrepreneurship by supporting UNDP’s upscale of the 3×6 approach in both Aden and in Abyan. In Aden, the Embassy further participates to the need to secure political support for the Commission to Consider and Address Land Issues and the Commission on Forcibly Dismissed Employees addressing the key necessity to implement transitional justice. Mine Action support brings land clearing and new livelihood opportunities in addition to enhancing human security.
The Japanese delegation visited two UNICEF supported schools in Mansura and Sheikh Othman districts. It was greeted by cheerful students and professors who offered a canvas of well-wishes to the people of Japan thanking them for their friendship and generosity. The delegation appreciated the extensive refurbishment operated in Barabaa, for 900 girls and Memdera schools for 2,700 boys rendering learning conditions less impeding for the children.
With the Vice-Governor of Aden, the Ambassador discussed political developments and stability in the South, emphasizing the importance of retaining gains made on the social, economic and security fronts. Reiterating a keen interest in holistic recovery approaches to mitigate risks and vulnerabilities, building capacity for stronger resilience in Abyan, the delegation met with the Governor and representatives to exchange on the urgency to collaboratively foster innovative thinking concerning recurrent challenges.
The second day of the visit marked the launch of the 3×6 upscale in Aden and Abyan where Japan through UNDP and the For All Foundation has been able to enroll 1,000 youth from Sheikh Othman (Aden) and Khanfar (Abyan), including some of the over 200,000 IDPs that were displaced to Aden during the 2011-2012 war in Abyan, 90% of which have now returned to Abyan. Ms. Tanaka, UNDP Country Director, stressed that the 3×6 approach not only makes an impact in the lives of the beneficiaries, but also their families and community at large.
“At first, friends told me a woman could not have a chicken shop. But I tried, and after saving money earned and financial training, I opened my own shop and my brothers and sisters are all in schools. I cannot thank enough Japan for this opportunity,” said Reema, a 3×6 beneficiary.
In Abyan, close to 5000 individuals will see their water, hygiene and sanitation situation improved across 38 villages and 44 sub-villages, including road paving, filtration, deepening of wells, sewers and bathroom, in addition to the rehabilitation of grazing areas and animal courtyard.
The Japanese mission lastly emphasised that particular attention should be given to civil society in the area of transitional justice, and secure cross-sectoral support to the Land and Dismissal Commissions to combat human rights violations.
Since 2012, Japanese support has amounted to USD 120 million across the country. The UNDP Youth Economic Empowerement Project Upscale (YEEP II) is also supported by Silatech, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Korea and Spark.
Source: Ms. Kawkab al-Thaibani, Youth Empowerment Project Communications/Advocacy National Specialist