The IsDB has signed an MoU with the Yemeni government and the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) to launch an economic empowerment program to address agricultural production value chain challenges.
Operating under the framework of the executive program for development for Yemen, which was signed in May 2021 between the IsDB and the SDRPY, the first phase of the program is worth SAR7.5 million (US$1.99 million).
The newly established program seeks to improve the agricultural value chain challenge of access to markets by addressing the gaps in the trade and production sectors. The program is expected to contribute to job creation, promoting sustainable livelihoods, increasing income levels and strengthening markets in addition to supporting agricultural economic development and food security.
The economic empowerment program is based on three components. First, the improvement of the quality and increasing the availability of agricultural products; second, providing technical expertise on developing value chains for SMEs; and third, the financing of electronic trading solutions and the establishment of an electronic trading platform.
According to the Yemen Policy Center, the nation imports 90% of its food needs. Nonetheless, half of its labor force is employed by the agricultural sector, with 70% of the population relying on income from agricultural activities.
The SDRPY was established by royal decree in 2018 as a continuation of Saudi Arabia’s developmental efforts in Yemen. The organization seeks to contribute to the economic recovery of Yemen in accordance with the UN SDGs. Among others, the SDRPY has identified the key sectors of agriculture, fisheries and food security for economic development in Yemen. The IsDB currently has 22 projects active in Yemen representing 0.51% of its total investment capital.
The IsDB Group has had a long-standing relationship with the Yemeni government, approving approximately US$1.03 billion in investment since 1980. Moreover, the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit, the group’s investment and export credit insurance arm, has provided a total of US$243.7 million in insurance to the Republic.
The economic empowerment program is the first stage of cooperation between the parties and is expected to open up opportunities for further cooperation. This could take the form of launching an improved version of the program with more partners and funding or expanding the initiative into a community grant for multiple projects, a statement from the IsDB confirmed.