The Impact of the War on Youth’s Small and Micro Projects

The ongoing conflict in Yemen has led to a number of effects that have negatively affected the lives of individuals and society in various aspects of life (political, economic, social, and cultural). This affected people after the hope for a decent life and enjoyment of rights and freedoms had revived, especially after the events of 2011. The situation then took a path towards more conflict, war, destruction and spread of corruption, resulting in a humanitarian catastrophe that Yemeni society found itself in and a life characterized by misery and suffering. 

Youth’s small and micro projects have, therefore, been affected by the current conflict, which has led to the complete destruction of nearly 4% of them, while 55% of them are still closed, and only 45% have resumed their work partially. The projects suffer from an environment fraught with many risks such as price fluctuations, security disturbances, armed conflict, and the spread of poverty among members of society. The small enterprise sector represents a large percentage of the local economy as a result of many members of society turning to it, due to the cessation of employment in the public sector and its decline is very high in in the organized private sector. Moreover, the fact is that the largest portion of Yemeni society turns to these projects as an economic behavior rooted in the culture of society. In addition, the Yemeni society works in the agricultural sector, and Yemen is one of the largest countries in the Middle East with small and micro projects. There are 1.8 million projects supporting 3.4 million family, owned mostly by the poor and low-income people. 

The largest share of the effects carried by the ongoing war in Yemen was for small and micro projects, especially the youth projects, which faced many challenges after the war. These projects and their owners experience several threats that were addressed in this paper, such as the war consequences that led to the destruction of many of these projects. Also, some of these projects are no longer operating totally or partially and some were looted. This is in addition to the impact of the economic collapse and the resulting rise in prices, inflation, currency collapse, etc. Moreover, there is difficulty in obtaining permits which lack reliability in protecting small projects. As a result, the identities of some projects were stolen. There is also weak funding for these projects, poor performance of the management and orientation, limited technical support provided to achieve sustainability, and the availability of new opportunities for young people such as the war fronts, which limited the desire to start such projects or closing some of the existing ones. Finally, the security risks are among the effects faced by these projects. 

On the other hand, the paper presented many recommendations to overcome the challenges facing small and micro projects. The paper focused on the effective roles of the concerned parties, the most important of which is the government and official bodies that must provide an appropriate environment for these projects and guarantee their sustainability. It also focused on the active role of civil society in supporting these projects. The recommendations hereby addressed with the importance of the role of financing institutions and their role in supporting these projects. Finally, the paper stressed on the importance of the role of donors and international organizations in the economic recovery and nourishment phase by giving large space of attention to these projects being one of the effective means to support the economic recovery and nourishment and poverty alleviation phase.