5 December 2015, Amman - The European Delegation to Yemen and representatives from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) yesterday signed an EU-supported Joint Programme entitled “Enhancing Rural Resilience in Yemen” (ERRY).

The overall objective of the Joint Programme is to enhance the resilience and self-reliance of crisis-affected rural communities through support to livelihoods stabilisation and recovery, local governance and improved access to sustainable energy. ERRY will achieve two outcomes: (i) Communities are better able to manage local risks and shocks for increased economic self-reliance and enhanced social cohesion, and (ii) Institutions are responsive, accountable and effective to deliver services, build the social contract and meet community identified needs. The Joint Programme will be implemented over 3 years in coordination with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and targets four Governorates. It is financed by the European Union for a total budget of EUR 34.8 million, building on the strength of the respective participating UN agencies.

"Yemen's most vulnerable sectors of society bear the brunt of the current conflict. The EU and four UN agencies have teamed up in a unique partnership to assist rural populations in the most affected provinces to help with improving food security, social protection and services. We will do this together with local authorities, Yemeni civil society and the private sector - all of whom stand to benefit from this programme.

EU Head of Delegation Muscheidt added: "This programme will do its part to lay the ground work for peace and stability in Yemen. It is a significant coincidence that at its signature peace talks on Yemen resume: Yemenis now need a comprehensive, durable ceasefire to facilitate implementation of much needed development programmes. Yemen's people and the plight of the poorest and most vulnerable should be at the heart of the negotiations."

According to Salah El Hajj Hassan, FAO Representative in Yemen, this EU funded program will enable FAO to enhance the independence of farmers by promoting sustainable value chains and will further promote FAO’s flagship "Farmer Field Schools” to increase the farming and production capacities, and help in framing a commercial oriented production. He added: “our intervention will have a multiplier effect that will maximize the reach throughout the program. We will be working on behaviour change in agriculture, by introducing new techniques and best practices.”

The legal documents were signed in Brussels by Ms Bettina Muscheidt and in Amman by Ms. Mikiko Tanaka (UNDP), Mr. Salah El Hajj Hassan (FAO), Ms. Purnima Kashyap (WFP) and Mr. Patrick Daru representing ILO. For more information, please contact Ms. Farah Abdessamad, UNDP Yemen Programme Specialist (farah.abdessamad@undp.org) or EU Delegation to Yemen's contact: claude.noyelle@eeas.europa.eu