International Relief & Development Organization: Our Work in Yemen

Unified only in 1990, the Republic of Yemen remains a strongly traditional society. However, tribal and regional rivalries, divisive political leadership, an influx of refugees from various countries, and the influence of al-Qaida linked terrorist cells have made it difficult for the country to develop socially and economically. IRD has been working in Yemen since 2009 to support communities to identify and discuss the underlying causes of conflict, promote community participation and activism, improve health and hygiene, assist refugees and asylum-seekers, and provide third-party monitoring for donor-supported infrastructure improvements.


IRD provides on-site physical verification of various World Bank-financed infrastructure projects to ensure they comply with specifications as well as social and environmental guidelines. In 2014, IRD will deliver at least 500 inspection reports. The work includes a community monitoring component and trains staff from the Government of Yemen on how to process and effectively use field data submitted by the field engineers and community monitors.


In Hodeidah, IRD improves the health of vulnerable communities by increasing access to improved water sources, including generating potable water through home-based and school-based collection, storage, and treatment. In schools and communities, IRD is promoting improved hygiene through awareness and behavioral change campaigns and sanitation infrastructure improvements. In selected regional schools and villages, IRD work with school leaders, local community leaders, and parents through formally organized elected water management committees to apprise them of the importance of school and community water supply and sanitation. The committees develop management, maintenance, and community financing plans to improve the quality and quantity of clean water along with community and school sanitation conditions. IRD is also addressing the emergency WASH needs and enhancing the resilience of approximately 54,000 people.

In the remote eastern desert regions of Hadramout and Al Mahrah, IRD increases access to water, improves healthy hygiene practices, and enhances livelihood resiliency for nomadic and pastoralist families. Residents in these areas experience frequent droughts and recurrent conflict, which exacerbate food insecurity and malnutrition, stress already weak water and sanitation systems, and create vulnerability to health crises. IRD is working with these communities to build water reservoirs (known locally as karafans) to provide clean, local sources of water for both human and livestock consumption and to promote healthy hygiene practices. Karafans, a well-known resilience strategy and a cost-effective form of rainwater harvesting, can provide communities with clean, local, and reliable source of water, even during periods of drought. The 15 karafans will be constructed and 15 water management committees will be established to manage them, serving 13,000 people.


IRD strengthens the self-management capacity of the Somali refugee community, Yemen’s largest refugee community and, since 2011, refugee communities from Ethiopia, Iraq, and Eritrea. Through targeted trainings for refugee committees and sub-committees, IRD builds their capacity to cope with the country’s ongoing civil unrest. IRD-supported community leaders, outreach workers, and volunteers organize the displaced communities to inform them of their rights as refugees and to address their emergency needs, especially those of the most vulnerable. Having demonstrated its emergency response capacity and humanitarian drive, IRD is now responsible for managing UNHCR assistance programs for vulnerable urban refugees.


Since 2009, IRD has used community grassroots theatre continuous to help Yemeni communities openly discuss and think of ways to address the underlying causes of community conflict. Using a nationally known theatre troupe in five targeted governorates, radio and media campaigns, and focus group discussions, IRD educates rural Yemeni audiences about the country’s transition process and disseminate messages on key transition and governance issues. The project promotes civic education on issues such as voter registration, conflict resolution, decentralization, constitutional processes and reforms, peaceful election processes, and the importance of women’s involvement in political processes. Through this grassroots approach, the project also gathers data on citizen’s concerns in the targeted governorates and shares them with key local, regional, and national stakeholders.

Retrieved from on 2 November 2014 by Internet Archive WayBackMachine.

International Relief & Development (IRD) website.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply