People in Yemen positive about change despite challenges

By staff writers
June 8, 2011

Poverty is a very real problem in Yemen and the current situation is having an increasing impact on the poorest people especially.

That is the message coming out from UK-based development agency Progressio, and global media interest in what is happening in Yemen continues in fits and starts - but often with little informed background to current events.

Progressio's country representative, Abeer Al-Absi, was herself caught up in crossfire and shelling only last week.

"Yemenis dream of a better future. We want to take part in the decisions that affect our lives, we want to overcome inequality and poverty," she declares.

Progressio, a Catholic charity which cooperates with a broad range of partners, has been working in Yemen for 37 years. It operates through long-standing relationships with Yemeni civil society organisations and NGOs.

Progressio places skilled workers with local organisations to deliver programmes in HIV, effective governance and participation, and sustainable environment.

"People are poor, many don't have jobs, they don't have access to healthcare and education, things need to change," says Abeer Al-Absi.

She believes civil society organisations are playing a key role in the development process."Involving the local communities in decision-making is the only path to a better future for Yemenis."

"I feel disappointed when I hear my country described as a 'fragile state' or as 'failed'. Yemeni people are kind and smart, we have a lot of resources and we aim for a better country.

"Support from the international community is essential and it needs to be long-term because community reform is a long-term process," she continues.

"Organisations like Progressio that can work alongside us, sharing skills and technical expertise are more valuable than ever in this time of uncertainty," says Ms Al Absi.

* More on Progressio and its works:


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