UN scheme to connect Yemeni diaspora with home

The inauguration of a partnership between Alwehdah and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the UNDP-led initiative “Yemen Our Home”.
The inauguration of a partnership between Alwehdah and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the UNDP-led initiative “Yemen Our Home”.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

SINGAPORE • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched an initiative in Singapore to connect the Yemeni diaspora and private sector with local communities in need in strife-ridden Yemen.

The collaboration was established with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the UNDP and the Arab Association of Singapore on Thursday.

UNDP country director for Yemen, Ms Mikiko Tanaka, said the Arab Association of Singapore - also known as Alwehdah or "unity" in Arabic - was selected as a pioneer partner in the rehabilitation programme, called "Yemen Our Home", because of the ancestral links of Alwehdah's members to Yemen, particularly in the Hadhramawt Governorate.

Conflict was sparked after a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia launched a military campaign in March last year in support of Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, against the Iran-allied Houthis.

The United Nations has said that nearly 6,000 people have been killed in the fighting.

Ms Tanaka said the people of Yemen face adversity and suffering, and require the support of the international community.

MILLIONS AT RISK

Of a population of 25 million, over 21 million are in need of humanitarian assistance.

MS MIKIKO TANAKA, UNDP country director for Yemen

"Yemen has been in war, a full civil war for the last nine months. Of a population of 25 million, over 21 million are in need of humanitarian assistance.

"The people are suffering under hardships from war, but also economic difficulties," she said.

The UN goodwill ambassador for the "Yemen Our Home" programme, Dr Saadaldeen Talib, formerly Yemen's minister of industry and trade, identified areas of opportunities in the energy, education or health sectors.

Alwehdah president Khalid Basharahil hailed the signing of the memorandum.

"We feel privileged that although we come from a small country with a small Arab population, they have taken us to be the first in their partnership to help the people of Yemen," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 24, 2016, with the headline 'UN scheme to connect Yemeni diaspora with home'. Print Edition | Subscribe