The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

World Bank and UNOPS sign solar project to restore electricity to over one million Yemenis

The World Bank and UNOPS signed an agreement today for a $50 million project to improve access to electricity in rural and peri-urban areas in Yemen. 

The Yemen Emergency Electricity Access Project will be funded by a grant from IDA, the World Bank fund for the world’s poorest countries, and implemented by UNOPS. 

The agreement was signed at World Bank headquarters in Washington D.C. by the World Bank Country Director for Yemen, Egypt, and Djibouti, Dr. Asad Alam, and Ms. Bana Kaloti, the UNOPS Regional Director for the Middle East.

The three-year project aims to restore electricity supply to 1.4 million Yemenis (200,000 households), 400 health facilities and 800 schools. The project will be implemented in collaboration with the local private sector, including micro-finance institutions, solar equipment suppliers and installers. Working with the Yemeni private sector will help create hundreds of jobs.

Electricity blackouts affect every aspect of life in Yemen. This innovative operation will bring power to schoolchildren, patients and healthcare professionals, and poor families in Yemen.

- Dr. Alam

Solar power has proved to be the most immediate solution for severe energy shortages throughout Yemen. A booming solar industry has developed since the beginning of the crisis, employing thousands of Yemenis and urgently providing power in a situation with few alternatives. However, the high cost of the products still represents a barrier for the poor and most vulnerable.

“We look forward to supporting our partners in the World Bank in implementing this important project and building on joint efforts in support of the people of Yemen,” said Ms. Kaloti.

With this new financing, IDA emergency grants to Yemen issued since July 2016 have totaled $1.22 billion.

Explore further