On 15 October 2019, UNESCO opened a Project’ Office in Sana’a as part of its ongoing efforts to preserve and safeguard conflict-affected heritage sites in Yemen. The office is part of a European Union funded project ‘Cash-for-Work: Promoting Livelihood Opportunities for Urban Youth in Yemen’ which combines UNESCO’s expertise in culture and development to generate income opportunities for youth in four historic cities of Shibam, Zabid, Sana’a, and Aden. The office, which is hosted by UNOPS, allows UNESCO to closely follow the implementation of the project activities in the four historic cities, consisting of physical rehabilitation interventions, capacity building of cultural heritage stakeholders, technical assistance for the design of urban rehabilitation plans as well as small grants to artists and CSOs in order to support cultural programming and services.
This increased field presence reinforces UNESCO’s capacities to support pre-recovery and mitigation plans in the country, via large-scale innovative projects bridging the gaps between humanitarian and development interventions.
Despite not having a physical office in the country, UNESCO GCC and Yemen has been active in implementing different projects in culture, education, natural science, and communication and information in Yemen. This has been possible with the close partnership with a number of local and international organizations in the country and local experts. The recently opened office in Yemen is an extension of UNESCO’s and EU’s commitment to Yemen’s culture, development and stability.
The ‘Cash for Work: Promoting Livelihood Opportunities for Urban Youth in Yemen’ is a USD 12 Million project over a period of three years aiming at increasing income-generating opportunities of young Yemenis in urban centers while preserving and restoring national cultural heritage. This effort – concentrated on UNESCO World Heritage cities and other historic urban heritage in the country – aims to promote cultural and creative industries within the conflict as a source of unity for all Yemenis, as well as an untapped area for business development and economic growth for youth.