New Bridges Extending between the Humanitarian and Development Interventions during the War

Yemen depends mainly on local diesel generators since the beginning of the conflict to meet the needs of different facilities such as schools, health centers, and water facilities. With the exacerbated conflict, diesel cost has increased significantly, which in turn has exacerbated the situation. Diesel supplies and other forms of energy were completely cut off in many areas of the country, which directly affected the ability to meet the basic needs of millions of Yemeni people, especially women and children.

Energy is one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that countries, especially conflict-affected countries, advocates ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all SDG7   


In order to address such need, the World Bank through the International Development Association (IDA), and in partnership with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), launched a project to help Yemenis restore electricity supply to critical facilities. The Yemen Emergency Electricity Access Project (YEEAP) aims to restore access to electricity for households and electricity for dependent service facilities through distributed solar energy systems.


YEEAP intervention is saving lives on a daily basis. Health facilities that received solar systems were able to enhance the services provided rapidly especially in rural areas. Moreover, the facilities were able to maintain constant cold chain for immunization, and contributed in having feasible access to basic services that used to suffer from lack of access to essential medicines, vaccines, and basic primary and secondary health services.


The Al-Salam Hospital in Lahj was one of these facilities. It was suffering from many problems including lack of electricity, preventing thus the staff from providing needed health services, most notably during nightshifts. Moreover, the hospital was not able to provide inpatient care to emergency and critical cases, child delivery and obstructed labor cases. After receiving the solar power systems, the hospital was able to work night shifts 24/24, provide inpatient care, and receive emergency and critical cases. The hospital also opened a special wing for child delivery and obstructed labor with newborn care services.


Dr. Ahmed AL-Matari – Assalam Hospital, Yafai district, Lahj governorate said:

“We have been suffering from several obstacles and problems for years and the most important of which was the lack of electricity that was hampering the provision of medical services. For example, we were unable to activate the evening shift due to lack of electricity, and we couldn’t receive emergency cases to save lives such as critical and emergency obstetric cases and everything related to other emergency medical cases.

Now, after the intervention of UNOPS funded by the World Bank, to provide electricity through solar energy, the hospital is providing its services 24/24 for a wide catchment population that extends to some areas in the neighboring districts. Thanks to the undisrupted electricity service throughout the day, we were able to reopen the inpatient section to receive cases, in addition to receiving critical cases with the emergency department functioning in full capacity. Our capacity has increased in the maternity ward, and we were able to run the incubators section for premature babies and babies in need of postnatal care (PNC) services. “

Till the end of December 2019, YEEAP identified 192 schools, 142 hospitals and health centers, and 16 wells to be provided with solar energy systems. The work is still expanding to achieve the target number of 1200 facilities in all governorates of Yemen.