Two years of political uncertainty and a troubling security situation have taken their toll on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Yemen. But IFC teams have stayed in the country despite the unrest, helping to show that improved corporate governan
Only a few years ago, Yasmine Al Matari was eking out a modest living as an information-technology trainer in Abyan, Yemen. Then, IFC helped the 28-year-old become a successful entrepreneur—and a role model for other Yemeni women.
Yemen is seeking to build new sources of income to replace dwindling oil reserves, but whose private sector is still at a very early stage of development. The Yemeni government is actively working to address these challenges and bring about change.
Currently, IFC investment portfolio stands at $85 million.
IFC Advisory Services in Yemen is financed out of a three-year program supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and implemented in collaboration with Yemen’s government and the private sector. The program helps remove obstacles faced by the private sector. We have:
Helped Al Amal Microfinance Bank grow its portfolio significantly. Our advisory services helped the bank strengthen its technical capacity focusing on product development and finance;
Trained 5,100 people in Yemen, 41 percent of whom were women, and improved their business skills using Business Edge, IFC’s management training product;
Helped usher in is a new set of laws aimed at improving the country's business climate by making the system more accessible; and
Mobilized private investment in the infrastructure sector.
We’ve also launched several region-wide initiatives expected to address long-term challenges. They include:
The Middle East and North Africa SME Facility, which is expected to channel $550 million and a host of advisory services to smaller businesses over the next five years;
The Arab Financing Facility for Infrastructure (AFFI) in partnership with the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank to provide access to long-tenor financing for infrastructure projects;
The e4e Initiative for Arab Youth, which aims to create private education programs tailored to the needs of the job market; and
The MENA Fund, which will help to boost investor confidence and support capital markets in the region.