Sweden focuses on vulnerable women in Yemen

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has announced a contribution of US$ 3.3 million to help UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund provide life-saving protection services to the most vulnerable women and girls.

Women and girls are among the most vulnerable in Yemen’s crisis. Displacement and the breakdown of protection mechanisms, driven by nearly seven years of conflict, have drastically increased the vulnerability of women and girls to violence and abuse. An estimated 6.1 million women are in urgent need of protection.

Life is exteremely challenging

“Women and girls continue to be disproportionately affected by the many woes facing Yemen. The effects of the pandemic, economic decline and continued displacement continue to make life extremely challenging. Far too many women and girls are also victims of gender-based violence. We are proud to continue to support UNFPA in their efforts to address these challenges. We need to lay a foundation upon which women and girls in Yemen can thrive and prosper” says Maria Selin, Sida’s Regional Director for Middle East and North Africa, based at the Swedish Embassy in Amman.

This latest funding would support an estimated 60,000 women and girls with specialized women’s protection services and will help some 1,000 women seeking such services to start their own businesses. The programme will engage with community leaders, police, lawyers as well as with humanitarian actors in addressing women’s protection issues in the country.

Generous support

“UNFPA is deeply heartened by the generous support of Sweden to our efforts to help the most the vulnerable women and girls in Yemen,” said Nestor Owomuhangi, UNFPA’s Representative to Yemen. “The latest funding will translate into more people – particularly more women and more girls – enjoying the protection services and livelihood support that they urgently need at this point in time.”

Sweden has been one of the largest contributors to UNFPA’s protection programmes in Yemen, contributing nearly US$13 million since 2017, and in turn helping to reach hundreds of thousands of women and girls with protection information and services.

UNFPA leads the coordination and provision of protection services across the country. UNFPA is also the sole provider of life-saving reproductive health medicines in Yemen.