The Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) program, the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS), and the Georgetown Anti-Poverty Society (GAPS) hosted Dr. Asad Alam, the World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen, and Djibouti, on October 3rd to discuss “Protecting Development Assets During Conflict: The Case of Yemen.”
When the conflict in Yemen began, the World Bank cancelled all of its projects in the country in order to redirect the funds toward supporting Yemeni people affected by the conflict. Alam discussed the World Bank’s new programs in Yemen aimed at the heart of the humanitarian-development nexus, including cash transfers to aid in anti-famine efforts, and vaccines and medical care for children suffering from polio and cholera. In addition to these short-term efforts, the World Bank is working to implement longer-term programs for job creation that will aid in the eventual peace processes in Yemen.
“I was in Yemeni refugee camp in Djibouti. It is a very tough situation. They have been in that refugee camp for more than two years, with no hope in sight. So it is very important, then: how do we actually invest in these people in order to create the hope and the future? Because if you do not invest, there is no future,” said Alam.