Access to health care, water and public services for IDPs and local people

Project description

Title: Improving access to basic social services for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and local population
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Yemen
Overall term: 2016 to 2022

Yemen. Supply of drinking water for a school. © GIZ


Yemen has been at war since March 2015. The Huthi movement, Ansar Allah, has taken control of the most heavily populated areas in the north of the country. Part of the south is under the political and military influence of the Southern Transitional Council (STC). The internationally recognised government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansur Hadi now has little influence in the country, and President Hadi himself has been in exile since 2015. His government is receiving military support from the military alliance led by Saudi Arabia, which is carrying out air strikes on opposition areas. The consequences for the civilian population are devastating. Major infrastructural elements are being damaged and destroyed. Local administrative structures are either no longer functional at all, or only partially functional. Millions of people have no or only limited access to drinking water, sanitation and health care. Many of them are forced to flee to more stable parts of the country. The United Nations estimates there are more than three and a half million internally displaced persons in the country. However, available supplies rarely improve as a result of travel, as local administrations in the host regions are unable to meet the additional needs. In addition, due to elementary supply bottlenecks, the psychological effects of the war have little priority.


Access to social services for IDPs and for the local population in host communities is improved.

Yemen. Soccer tournament between two schools. © GIZ


The project is improving access to health care, drinking water and sanitation as well as to other social services in the regions of Ibb, Taiz, Hajjah and al-Hudaydah. It is helping improve the living situation of both the particularly needy population in the host communities and of the IDPs living there in equal measure. Together with local partners, needs-oriented small-scale measures are implemented.

In order to improve health care for the local population and IDPs, the local administrations are reviving health centres. The project is supporting them by renovating buildings, providing necessary equipment and training medical staff and volunteers.

In order to improve water and sanitation services, the project is promoting rehabilitation of wells, construction of sanitary facilities and expansion of water networks and sewage systems. It also runs health and hygiene education campaigns and trains staff and residents of the communities in how to maintain the revived infrastructure.

The project is supporting local administrations and the civil society in providing additional social services. The focus here is on particularly needy persons such as women, children and young people, as well as people with disabilities and other socially disadvantaged population groups. For example, joint social activities are carried out to strengthen communities and help cope with the impact of war.

The project is part of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Tackling the root causes of displacement – Supporting refugees – Strengthening host communities Initiative. The measures it fosters are benefiting internally displaced persons and host communities alike. In the long term they are reducing structural root causes of displacement such as social inequality and lack of prospects.


Health. The project supported 22 health centres, which were previously unable to provide sufficient medical care, by carrying out renovation work and procuring necessary equipment. More than 314,000 local residents and IDPs are benefiting from this. 70 health workers received further training on obstetrics, vaccinations and how to treat chronically malnourished patients.

Water and sanitation. To improve drinking water supply and sanitation, the project’s activities included assisting in rehabilitating seven wells and in constructing 150 latrines. Members of various communities received further training in infrastructure maintenance and repair. Volunteers have helped run numerous awareness campaigns. These measures have improved hygiene conditions and access to drinking water and sanitary facilities for around 280,000 people.

Social services. A total of 13 projects were implemented that have improved the situation of people particularly affected by the war. For example, 34 school psychologists received training in dealing with trauma and eleven child-friendly areas were provided with games. In addition, the project provided support for centres for epilepsy, for physiotherapy and for children with disabilities in procuring required equipment and training staff. 80 people took part in training and further training measures. This has improved their employment prospects.

Yemen. Training of medical staff how to treat infectious diseases. © GIZ


Further information