UNDP Supports Yemeni Businesses with Sustainable Eco-Transport
Last week the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) distributed 145 hybrid solar tricycles (i.e., tuk-tuks) to build the resilience of local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to help Yemeni businesses recover from COVID-19 shocks.
Provided under UNDP’s Rapid Financing Facility (RFF), the vehicles will help the transport sector respond more effectively to the on-going pandemic and future crises.
The RFF is designed to catalyze UNDP’s “COVID 2.0”– Beyond Recovery: Towards 2030 – by providing high-quality, high-impact initiatives in Hadramout’s Seiyun district.
Working in alignment with the UN's System’s response to the pandemic, these initiatives have been designed to strengthen the resilience of local communities affected by the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 by restoring lost livelihoods and strengthening access to vital basic services.
In June 2022, with the support of the local authorities in Hadramaut, UNDP successfully completed the distribution of 145 hybrid solar tuk-tuks to poor and vulnerable beneficiaries whose MSMEs had suffered setbacks due to the pandemic.
To help support the success of the vehicle distribution and use, more than 480 MSME owners Seiyun received trainings in business administration and basic vehicle maintenance.
Local women represented 43% of the solar tuk-tuks recipients – including widows, female heads of households, and IDPs.
“Small businesses have been adversely impacted by the on-going pandemic in Yemen," says Auke Lootsma, UNDP Resident Representative in Yemen.
"Compounded by over seven years of continued conflict and the declining value of the Yemeni Riyal, many businesses have been forced to reduce staffing or close all together."
“This innovative pilot project aims to provide Yemenis with new skills and capital to establish or rebuild their businesses in key sectors – including eco-transport," Lootsma added.
According to the Project Manager, Ms. Maureen Lance-Onyeiwu, the pilot project is expected to benefit about 15,000 members of the local community, including direct beneficiaries and their families.
"One of the most exciting results of the project is the sustained interest and enthusiasm of women in economic enterprises which were male-dominated, especially their creative participation as "owners" of tuk-tuks used by men for income-generation," says Lance-Onyeiwu.