Khabar Khair (Only Good News) 

Conflict has affected more than 70 per cent of small-scale fishers – the backbone of the fisheries sector. Through the Rebuilding Livelihoods and Capacities of Conflict-Affected Small-Scale Fisheries Households in Aden and Hadramout (RELACC) project, the fishery production in Aden and Mukalla is being supported and revamped. The distribution of boats, engines, fishing nets, and GPS will assist small-scale fishers meet market demand and supply by improving their production and catch rates. Equipped with cooling storage for the fishers’ catch, the boats will also help resolve the issue of cold storage at the production level.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its local partner, the Youth Leadership Development Foundation (YLDF), delivered fishing boats and engines to fishers in Mukalla, Yemen. Generously funded by the Government of Japan, this effort is the first of a larger plan to deliver 100 fishing boats, 100 boat engines, 500 fishing nets and 500 GPS devices that will be evenly distributed between Aden and Mukalla. The second delivery of items is expected later this month in Aden.

In December 2021, UNDP and YLDF distributed 500 financial grants worth US$950 each – 250 provided to fishers in both Aden and Mukalla – to help fishery communities establish supporting fishing businesses. The grants were preceded by the project helping 1,000 Yemenis learn to fix fishing assets such as boats, boat engines, and fishing nets, as well as build their entrepreneurial skills to help them improve and sustain their livelihood opportunities.

The project has also encouraged women’s participation in fisheries, an industry where the employment rate is almost negligible. With 30 per cent participation of women, the local fishing businesses focused on converting fish waste into fertilizers, salt production and packaging, fish farming, sale of dry fish, fishing equipment stores, and maintenance of fishing equipment.

“When I first saw this project advertised, I knew that I could help my grandfather make fishing hooks. The training and grant allowed me to make different types of hooks and sell them to the fishers in need,” says Hanan, aged 30 from Hadramout.

UNDP and YLDF collaborated with General Fisheries Authority (GFA) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Fisheries Wealth in Aden and Hadramout with full support to implement the RELACC project. The GFA partnership has also helped build ownership and sustainability of the implemented interventions.

“The conflict has severely impacted the fisheries sector, and subsequently small-scale fishers and their livelihoods, income, and food security,” says the Project Manager, Arvind Kumar. “This project is expected to improve and strengthen the fishing community’s resilience though vital generation of sustainable incomes,” he adds.

*Photo was taken from the United Nations Development Program in the Arab States

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Aladdin AlKadi

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