WTO accession
In progress
Per capita growth rate (%)
WB Ease of Doing Business rank
Share of international non-oil trade (%)
Value of non-oil goods traded (in US$ million)
Logistics performance Index (LPI)
2011 data - Sources: UNCTAD, World Bank, WTO, UN Comtrade

In 2001, Yemen joined the Integrated Framework (IF) – an earlier version of the EIF –  and undertook a DTIS which was validated in June 2003 and approved by the Cabinet in 2004. Issues related to WTO accession – of the key subjects of the DTIS – were included in the PRSP in 2003. Three of the priorities identified in the DTIS Action Matrix were supported by the IF programme through Window II projects (1) strengthening industrial and trade registry capacity; (2) fruit and vegetable export promotion and (3) fisheries quality control for export promotion.

Yemen's has also been a particular active beneficiary of the EIF which has enhanced the role of trade in development. As an LDC with one of the lowest per-capita Official Development Assistance (ODA) flows, Yemen is using the EIF process to provide support in increasing its Aid for Trade (AfT) flows, especially through the EIF pillars on donor coordination on trade issues and leveraging of additional AfT resources.

Description of the projects (objectives and interventions)

Yemen was the first country for which an EIF Tier 1 project in support of its National Implementation Arrangements (NIA) was approved in July 2009 and started implementation in September 2009.

Main progresses to date

Implementation of the Tier 1 Support to NIA project focused on preparing a DTIS Update and a National Export Strategy (NES) as well as on capacity building and outreach activities. Furthermore, the honey sector value chain was identified as a top priority from the DTIS Action Matrix, and a Tier 2 project was formulated in early 2011. Thereafter, owing to political turbulences, only minor EIF project activities were undertaken and funding for project activities even suspended later in 2011 after the building of the Ministry of Industry and Trade where the NIU was housed had been destroyed and all equipment looted. Staff salaries were maintained, however, so that EIF activities could resume immediately after the political situation had stabilised in February 2012. Since then, the Tier 2 project in support of the honey value chain was approved in December 2012 and implementation has started with icipe as Main Implementing Entity (MIE).

With UNDP as MIE, Yemen has started to undertake its DTIS Update; the DTIS Update will complement the NES which has been completed in September 2013 with the support of the EU Delegation.


The Concept Note for Yemen's DTIS Update will be finalised in October 2013 and the main work on the update will take place in late 2013; validation of the study should be expected in the first half of 2014.


Outcome 1: Sufficient Institutional and management capacity built in EIF countries to formulate and implement Trade related strategies & implementation plans
Outcome IndicatorBaseline2013201420152016
O1.1 Tier 1 ' Support to NIAs' project completed or under implementationYesYes
O1.2 EIF Country with complete, up-to-date validated DTIS Action MatricesNoNo
O1.3 Level of capacity of NIU to perform fiduciary programme management for Tier 1 project32
O1.4 Country with up-to date trade strategiesN/ANo
O1.5 Country with quality trade strategyN/AN/A
O1.6 Country with quality trade strategy implementedN/AN/A
Outcome 2: EIF countries mainstream trade into their national development strategies and plans
Outcome IndicatorBaseline2013201420152016
O2.1 Trade in PRSP and/or National development strategiesN/A3
O2.2 Existence of productive sector strategies integrating the trade dimensionN/AYes
O2.3 Functioning public/private consultation mechanismN/A1
Outcome 3: Coordinated delivery of trade related resources (funding, TA etc.) by donors & implementing agencies to implement country priorities following adoption of DTIS Action Matrix
Outcome IndicatorBaseline2013201420152016
O3.1 Availability of an annual rolling implementation overview integrating all trade-related government & donor-supported activities (including gender & environment)N/ANo
O3.2 Frequency of government and donor consultations on trade-related mattersN/A3
O3.3 UN CEB Cluster activities based on DTIS Matrix priorities in EIF CountriesN/ANo
O3.4 Country with joint donor initiatives in the trade area (such as need assessment; strategy formulations; programming; pooled funding; M&E; etc.)N/ANo
Outcome 4: EIF Countries secure resources in support of initiatives that address DTIS Action Matrix priorities
Outcome IndicatorBaseline2013201420152016
O4.1 Country with implementation plan integrating DTIS/Action Matrix priorities and indicating financing needs to be met through ODAN/AN/A
O4.2 Country where a Government budget exists for implementation of its trade strategyN/ANo
O4.4 Number of projects funded by donors related to the DTIS Action MatrixN/A0
O4.4.1 Amount of projects funded by donors related to the DTIS Action Matrix (Million USD)N/A0

The Fisheries Quality Control for Export Promotion project established a fish quality control laboratory in Al-Hudaidah governorate. It also produced manuals and built the capacity of quality control staff and exporters on fish quality control and HACCP regulations. The project also provided training to fishermen on best practices of handling, preservation and hygiene. The overall impact of this project on the seafood industry has been remarkable in improving fish quality and promoting fish exports.


The project on strengthening Industrial and Trade Registration capabilities installed an automated trade and industry registration system in the Ministry of Industry and Trade. It also provided training for the Ministry staff on using the new system. The project also designed a bilingual website providing information on business services, trade laws, business start-up and licensing, also supporting WTO accession in the process. This project has significantly improved the process of company registrations which subsequently led to a faster and more reliable service to the private sector.

DTIS Update

Starting date / End date
Approved Budget
Board Approval Date
Expenditure Reported
MOU Approval Date
MOU Expiry Date

NIA Support - Phase 1

Starting date / End date
Approved Budget
Board Approval Date
Expenditure Reported
MOU Approval Date
MOU Expiry Date

Improving Honey Productivity and Quality (IHPQ)

Starting date / End date
Approved Budget
Board Approval Date
Expenditure Reported
MOU Approval Date
MOU Expiry Date

Center for Bee Disease and Pest Management (CBDP)

Starting date / End date
Approved Budget
Board Approval Date
Expenditure Reported
MOU Approval Date
MOU Expiry Date
Posted: 27/10/2016

Yemen has a wealth of potential to use trade to make progress on a number of development fronts, maximize its regional position and transform its resources, outside of the oil sector, to the greater benefit of its neediest communities.


Despite the long-term instability in the country, the EIF has continued its work in Yemen, building the capacity of the Ministry of Industry and Trade to use trade as a gateway to development. The EIF National Implementation Unit is leading efforts to transform the country's potential to trade into real impact on the ground for the poorest regions. The need to tackle high levels of poverty is also matched by the importance of ensuring that women actively participate in the economic sphere.


As a result, the EIF programme has incorporated gender empowerment among its activities, including facilitating the representation of businesswomen in the Public-Private Sector Dialogue Council, which has advocated the waiving of fees for businesswomen wanting to start new businesses. In cooperation with UNDP, the EIF and the Ministry have nominated a committee of eight people, six of whom are female employees, to work with UNDP and serve as an advisory and coordination body between UNDP and the Ministry to develop projects to be implemented in several governorates in Yemen. Female employees are also well represented in workshops and specialized committees owing to their competence and hard work.


The EIF has also established a training centre in the basement of the Ministry's building. Inaugurated in June 2016, the training centre makes training more convenient and less expensive, enabling the Ministry to offer a wide range of capacity‑building initiatives, including English language classes, computer literacy and proficiency courses, leadership, planning and advanced reporting courses, courses on commercial registration procedures plus lessons on trade facilitation and trade mainstreaming, among others.


The trainings provided target both civil servants and private sector workers who are severely constrained in Yemen by low capacities and lack of resources. Moreover, Yemen's relative isolation from the rest of the world reinforces the crucial need to build capacity in human resources and in trade. With Yemen's accession to the WTO, there is also an increased need to improve English literacy to understand WTO regulations and negotiations and to be able to reap the benefits available for Least Developed Countries and to engage effectively in global and regional discussions.


The English language learning programme funded by the EIF is an essential part of building capacity in the Ministry and in private sector institutions. The training started in 2009 and has since expanded due to a consistent increase in demand.  


The learning programme offers female employees an opportunity to study English language in the work place. In 2015, 200 students, of which 60 were females, benefitted from the English language training. The percentage of female students is much higher than the one of the female work force, estimated at 15-20% of the total workforce of the Ministry.


In Yemen, opportunities for women to work and study on par with their male counterparts have been steadily increasing, and the learning programme is helping to spread ideas and knowledge, which gives them an opportunity to take charge of their lives by earning a livelihood independent of their male relatives. This has motivated female students to excel above their male counterparts. This explains the high enrolment rate of female students, which is also linked to the design of the programme, which provides an ideal learning environment within the Ministry. It allows women to save on transport costs and commuting time and is fully compliant with cultural sensitivities and social norms around female education.


Language‑studying is very appealing to the female workers of the Ministry of Industry and Trade as it helps them to meet daily requirements at work but also opens up opportunities for travelling abroad and applying for foreign scholarships, including in trade-related areas. By enabling them to access the internet, use social media and access information about trade that is pertinent to their work, it also provides opportunities for personal and career development, which has beneficial effects on their family, communities and social life.  


In an environment marked by long-lasting political instability and insecurity as well as limited business opportunities, the determination and the resilience of the Yemeni students, particularly the female students, reflect a story of strong hope for a better future. Taking charge of their lives and future provides a foothold to acquiring lifelong skills and capacities, which will later help their poorest communities. The EIF partnership has chosen not to discontinue its support to Yemen in order to help stabilize communities, bridge divides and build peace.


With greater support, Yemen can recover and focus on an inclusive sustainable development that is needed for the next generation. Yemen's agenda for change is rightly ambitious. But support from the international community – both from private investors and development partners – is a vital part in this long-term vision of developmental success.


"I am a student in the English language programme funded by the EIF and have undergone several courses. I use English in my daily work in researching information through the internet and feel empowered by my English. I am confident that a good command of the English language will help me to progress in my job and in my life." Ms Iltaf al-Ghafari, Staff member, Ministry of Industry and Trade Yemen

Posted: 05/05/2014

Yemen: New tools, skills and opportunities are shaping a way beyond a difficult past

Trade continues to play a pivotal role in Yemen’s development. As a Least Developed Country (LDC) with one of the lowest per-capita ODA flows, the country is using the EIF process and enhanced donor coordination to leverage additional Aid for Trade (AfT) resources.

In Yemen, the EIF National Implementation Unit (NIU) has been working closely with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to integrate all programme and project activities within the broader Ministry plans. As a result, the EIF programme in Yemen has managed to pool in broader results using trade as a gateway to development.

As part of the solar initiative being led by the Minister of Industry and Trade, the EIF NIU has been playing an active important role in its committees (Steering Committee, Communication Committee and Secretariat). As a result, UNDP and the European Union (EU) have agreed to partner up with the Ministry on the solar initiative, whereas, other development partners including the World Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Germany under Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and the Governments of India and China have also shown interest.

The EIF has been at the frontline in taking forward trade studies, the EIF-supported update of the 2003 Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) together with the National Trade Strategy will give impetus to trade and export development in the medium term. To finalize and take forward the National Export Strategy, the EIF NIU secured resources from the EU to fund the first phase and is looking to secure resources for the second phase.

Moreover, the EIF has also funded a study assessing the state of consumer associations in Yemen. This study was submitted to the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation to mobilize funds to revive the consumer associations. To gear up the process, the EIF has funded a two-day “Consultative and awareness” workshop for heads of consumer associations to discuss and agree on future steps to revive the association, as well as to seek support from the private sector and development partners.

In terms of supporting inclusive trade benefits for local communities, Yemen has rolled out the Youth Economic Empowerment project, a UNDP project in which the Ministry of Industry and Trade represented by the EIF NIU, acts as the Government supporting partner. Through this project, EIF Yemen disbursed over US$300,000 to youths who presented creative and innovative projects. Assistance of up to US$300 to each youth has also been approved to cover commercial registration and license fees. Presently, a project worth US$9 million is being negotiated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to expand youth empowerment in 9 governorates. The Memorandum of Understanding will be signed by the Government and UNDP, and will comprise a team of six representatives from each institution. From the Ministry, three of the six representatives are EIF NIU staff.

In June 2014, Yemen acceded to the WTO marking a major milestone in the process of Yemen’s trade integration. The accession process was made possible with support from the EU WTO post accession project, which was actively supported by the EIF NIU through representation in the Steering Committee as well as in the Public-Private sector dialogue Council. The Ministry of Trade also mobilized support of the private sector to ratify Yemen’s accession to the WTO through interactive dialogue with the Public-Private sector dialogue Council in workshops that provided lectures on the impact of the WTO on trade, anti-dumping, trademarks and tariffs.

Through a honey Tier 2 project, the EIF is backing the development of skills and technical know-how in the honey sector, to improve productivity and quality in the Shabwah and Al-Hudaydah Governorates. The project aims to train 3,000 farmers, including 1,000 women, and provide 15,000 modern bee hives to increase rural poor incomes by 20%, employing modern beekeeping technology and ensuring standards and value addition for Yemeni honey and bee products. The target is to boost sales by up to 25% and prices by 20% through improved packaging, branding and access to new markets through eco and organic certification and fair trade.

At the EIF Ministerial Breakfast held along the sidelines of the Ninth Session of the WTO Ministerial Conference, the Minister of Industry and Trade, H.E Dr Saadaldeen Talib shed more light on the honey project achievements including profiling Yemeni honey at the Milan 2015 Expo. He told the over 150 high‑level delegations that through an EIF Tier 2 project supporting branding and marketing of Yemeni honey, the Yemen Government's vision was backing the project which was expected to increase exports from US$60 million to US$200 million at the end of the three‑year tenure. He concluded that such tangible results needed to be further boosted and followed up for in other sectors such as coffee and fisheries, and in this regard, Yemen fully supported an extension of the EIF programme.

The honey project has taken off in the Hodeida and Shabwa Governorates, with the EIF NIU now working closely with the Economic Opportunities Fund (EOF) to improve quality honey produce in Shabwa and Tihama.  Together with the EOF, the EIF is also supporting the honey certification and quality control processes.

Building on this, the EIF team in Yemen is also working with the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) to replicate honey projects on a smaller scale beyond the Hodeida and Shabwa Governorates. As a result, TIKA has also agreed to create a federation for honey keepers in Yemen. To sustain the achievements in the honey sector and support moving up the honey value chain, the EIF NIU have conceptualized together with stakeholders’ input, a project to fund the Center for Bee Disease and Pest Management.   

The EIF’s work in Yemen has been shaping the country’s focus to use trade for the greater development of the country using new tools, skills and opportunities. Since Yemen joined the IF, an earlier programme of the EIF, the impact realized through to the EIF has been critical. This is evident in the country’s use of the EIF process to provide support in increasing its AfT flows, especially through the EIF pillars on donor coordination on trade issues and leveraging of additional AfT resources.

Focal Point

Mr. Iqbal Yasin BAHADIR
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trate
Ministry of Industry and Trade
Haddah Street, P. O. Box 12338
Sana'a, Yemen
Tel: N/A

NIU Coordinator

Mr. Mohammed HUMAID
EIF, EIF Project Officer
Ministry of Industry and Trade
Sana'a, Yemen
Tel: +967 777 24 59 47

Donor Facilitator

Mr. Mauro GIOÈ
Programme Manager
Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Yemen
Hadda Street (next to the French Embassy) P.O. Box 11408 - Sana'a - Republic of Yemen
Sana'a, Yemen
Tel: +967 1 570 200 to 204, Ext. 110

WB Contact

Senior Economist
Sana'a, Yemen
Tel: (967) 1-44-86-05 (678)
The World Bank
, Yemen
Tel: -

UNDP Contact

Mr. Fuad ALI
Sana'a, Yemen
Tel: -
Mr. Gustavo GONZÁLEZ
Senior Country Director
UNDP Yemen
P.O. Box 551
Sana'a, Yemen
Tel: +967 71 222 22 10


Ms. Michele CERVONE
EU Commission, Charge de affairs, EU commission, Sanaa, DF
European Commission
-, Yemen
Tel: -
H.E.Dr. Saad al-Deen BIN TALIB
Minister of Industry and Trade
Sana'a, Yemen
Tel: -
EIF Calendar 2015: THE EIF AND POST - 2015
Yemen Annual Progress Report 2013
Country Case Studies - EIF TFM Review
Yemen Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) - Overview 2003
Yemen Aide-Mémoire
Yemen DTIS Action Matrix 2003
Yemen Window II Project: Fruits and vegetables Export Promotion and Quality Control
Yemen Window II Project: Strengthening Industrial and Trade Registration Capabilities
Yemen: Finding hope and promoting inclusive learning in dire times
EIF at the 2014 WTO Public Forum
EIF at the 2014 WTO Public Forum
Yemen: New tools, skills and opportunities are shaping a way beyond a difficult past