Press Releases

IFC Supports Yemen’s Efforts to Help Young Job Seekers Find Employment

In Sana’a:
Name: Desmond Dodd
Phone: +967 (1) 448 410

In Cairo:
Name: Khadiga Fahmy
Phone: +2 2461 9140

Sana’a, Yemen, October 22, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement with the Yemen Education for Employment Foundation (YEFE) to create the country’s first professional training program targeting first-time job seekers. The program will help increase employment opportunities for participants by improving their business skills.

IFC will partner with YEFE to deliver IFC’s Business Edge training products to help job seekers develop the skills necessary to find employment. YEFE will fund the project and provide free job placement services. IFC’s support is expected to contribute to reducing unemployment among young adults, with a consequent long-term benefit to Yemen’s economy.

“This training program is an important step towards helping create employment opportunities in Yemen. Partnering with other organizations like IFC in the future will help increase the impact of employment-generating programs,” said Alwan Al-Shaibani, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of YEFE.

IFC and YEFE expect to train 3000 people over the next three years under the sponsorship of companies that have agreed to hire 85 percent of those trained. This partnership is part of IFC’s Business EdgeTM project in Yemen, which also seeks to expand access to training to more rural areas and increase the participation of women in the workforce.

 “IFC is working with donors and partners in Yemen to help create opportunities for people to escape poverty,” said Raymond Conway, IFC’s Country Officer in Yemen. “This partnership shows IFC’s commitment to helping combat unemployment among the younger generation by providing Yemenis with professional training while supporting the sustainability of Yemen’s private sector, which has a key role to play in making a more sustainable contribution to the local economy.”

Yemen, the Middle East’s poorest country, is seeking to build new sources of income to replace dwindling oil reserves. The county’s private sector remains at an early stage of development, unemployment is estimated to be as high as 40 percent, and nearly half the population lives on less than $2 a day. The government is actively working to address the challenges and bring about change.

To keep development moving, Britain’s DFID has contributed to a three-year program to finance multiple country projects, which will be implemented by IFC and FIAS in collaboration with the Yemeni government and the private sector. This funding will assist IFC Advisory Services efforts’ in addressing the obstacles faced by the private sector of one of the region’s most challenging markets.

IFC’s Business Edge program has trained more than 24,000 individuals, of which 15 percent were women, in Yemen since 2004 and is aiming to train another 15,000 people over the next three years. Business Edge is a business skills training product tailored to the local market and currently offered in several regional countries through licensed training providers. More information can be obtained from

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit

About YEFE

YEFE was legally established in June 2008 as a not-for-profit corporation organized as a local entity under the Yemeni Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.  As an EFE affiliate, YEFE’s purpose is to address youth unemployment issues in Yemen. For more information, visit