- Ministry of Public Works and Highways - Yemen
- Global Alliance on Urban Crisis partners, UN-Habitat Regional Office for Arab States, World Bank
As one of the poorest and world’s least developed countries, Yemen is encountering daunting political and socio-economic challenges. Though predominantly rural, Yemen has been experiencing rapid urbanization fueled by high population growth and rapid rural to-urban migration. The largest proportion of Yemen’s population is located in the agricultural regions and key urban agglomerations. High levels of poverty have manifested through declined socio-economic situation, high unemployment, low education attainment, poor infrastructure as well as scarcity of water resources; especially among children, youth and women. Since 2014, Yemen has been devastated by armed conflict with thousands killed, millions displaced and half the country deprived of basic services. The impact of the conflict is urban. Even though key cities have faced severe destruction, secondary and tertiary cities have become ports for “reverse” population movement transforming them into hosting areas for internally displaced persons. This influx is putting additional strain on existing services and infrastructure that are already scarce or depleted. In the context of a protracted crisis in Yemen, key future issues that should be addressed relate to peace and stability. Once the conflict is terminated, the country should be going through a nationwide reconstruction operation, which should take into consideration avoiding past mistakes and building cities and towns that are safer, more inclusive, resilient and sustainable. Hence, it is vital to apprehend urban challenges today and derive immediate, medium and long-term responses towards recovery.
The emphasis of the 9th session of the World Urban Forum is on “Cities 2030, Cities for all - Implementing the New Urban Agenda”. As many countries in the Arab region are undergoing crisis, Yemen would like to explore the various approaches and tools applied by other countries for urban recovery processes in fragile and crisis settings. This networking event focuses on attempts of countries to mainstream the Sustainable Development Goals and the principles of the New Urban Agenda in reconstruction efforts in crisis contexts. While the emphasis lays on the Arab region and the exploration of approaches to urban recovery strategies, other countries that have already gone through such an experience are invited to share lessons learnt. A strong emphasis of the event will be on exploring the link between urban recovery frameworks and national urbanization policy discussions, a key component of the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.
The event is considered a networking opportunity for countries to exchange their experiences and Yemen to learn from those for their own reconstruction planning. The focus of the discussion will be on urban recovery strategies and the necessary institutional capacities required to lay out a tangible road map for addressing long term safe, resilient, inclusive and sustainable cities in Yemen.