The eight-year conflict in Yemen has created one of the world’s most severe humanitarian crises. A collapsing economy has left over 17 million people without enough to eat, and over 6 million on the brink of famine.
On 23 February 2023, the UK Government announced a major new initiative to respond to these needs, delivered by a consortium of national and international NGOs including CARE International in Yemen. With a funding of up to 60 million GBP, the consortium will work together for the next four years across 10 governorates.
Their common commitment will be to provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance around food security alongside long-term improvements to the families’ resilience and self-reliance helping households benefiting from this project to cope with shocks and crises. The consortium will aim to channel a third of the total funding to local and national actors to ensure the programme is sustainable, responsive and delivered in partnership with the communities it serves.
Bridging today’s needs with longer-term approaches
The consortium project - Building Resilience through Integrated Community-based and Humanitarian Systems Transformation and Leadership in Yemen (BRIGHTLY) is centred around three ‘pillars’ of action. These aim to strengthen household resilience; empower local communities; and transform the systems of humanitarian delivery so that services are managed more efficiently and in partnership across sectors.
The project will support the most vulnerable households to ensure they are able to have access to sufficient nutrition. Aiming to reach over 275,000 people throughout the lifetime of the project, cash assistance will be provided to enable families to meet their immediate needs. Families will also be able to secure income through project activities that will empower them to procure what is needed. At the same time this will also contribute to strengthening local markets.
Project activities will ensure specific needs are met for women, girls, people living with disability, and other marginalised groups, who are the hardest hit by the crisis, including internally displaced persons (IDPs). These will include female-headed, child-headed and elderly-headed households, farmers and pastoralists. The consortium will also work together to create up to 140 Village Saving Groups, to empower women to make decisions and invest in their own businesses.
Prioritising a locally led response
The project contributes to CARE’s commitment towards supporting locally-led solutions by directly funding activities while will enable local communities to have access to grants, mentoring and training. Yemen Family Care Association (YFCA), a longstanding Yemeni NGO, will provide leadership in this area. The consortium also includes six other national partners, who will deliver activities based around their specific, sectoral experience.
The launch of the initiative took place in Amman, Jordan, where Andrew Mitchell, UK Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and Eamon Cassidy, CARE International UK’s CEO signed the project in the presence of representatives from the partner organisations.
Speaking at the event, Andrew Mitchell said:
“Today I am proud to launch the BRIGHTLY Consortium to help support up to 40,000 Yemenis every month over the next four years.”
Eamon Cassidy referred to the challenges Yemeni families have faced as a result of the conflict:
“Initiatives such as the BRIGHTLY project bring much needed support to families to meet their urgent needs, but at the same time allows them to rebuild their lives. We are looking forward to working closely with our partners, and to bring more durable solutions to communities.”
Waleed Adam Al-Hajj, Deputy Programs Director at YFCA stressed the significance and nature of the partnership within this consortium:
“The BRIGHTLY consortium has brought together a balanced and diverse group of local and international NGOs, each with their strengths and experience in delivering aid to the most vulnerable Yemeni families. Our goal therefore goes beyond fulfilling our commitments to localisation within the Grand Bargain, by involving more local and national stakeholder at all levels, from communities to local members of the consortium.”
Main photo from left: Eamon Cassidy, CARE International UK’s CEO, Nirvana Shawky, CARE Regional Director for the MENA region, and Andrew Mitchell, UK Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), sign BRIGHTLY project agreement in the presence of representatives from the partner organisations, Amman/Jordan.