Advocacy for Peaceful, Constructive US Policies

The affairs of the United States and Yemen are undeniably intertwined. Foreign and domestic policy decisions made in Washington have a very real impact on the lives of Yemenis and Yemeni-Americans. By the same token, challenges to security and stability in Yemen affect US interests in the Arabian Peninsula and at home. Within the US, Yemeni-Americans feel the effects of bigotry and Islamophobia, which are rampant among elected officials as well as private citizens.

The YPP is America’s first and only advocacy organization dedicated solely to Yemeni affairs and the US-Yemeni relationship. We believe that Yemeni-American voices need to be heard at all levels of government, and that the interests of both Americans and Yemenis are better served when Yemeni activists and experts, along with US-based Yemen specialists, are included in the policy-making process.

To that end, the Yemen Peace Project is building an advocacy program that will consistently and effectively communicate the views of these groups to US policy makers, and encourage a broader discussion of American policy toward Yemen among US officials, legislators, and the general public.

Read our 2017 report
on US policy

The YPP has produced a new report on the current state of US involvement in Yemen, along with recommendations for the US administration and Congress. The YPP advocates the development of a more just and constructive policy, one that is in line with America’s values and its obligations under international law, and that respects the civil and human rights of the Yemeni people. Unfortunately, the actions of the new US administration in its first two weeks in office indicate an opposite approach. The YPP is concerned that the administration intends to escalate America’s military involvement in Yemen. Such a course of action would have disastrous consequences for the Yemeni people, and would make America less safe as well. The recommendations published here will form the basis of our advocacy efforts in 2017 and beyond, as we work to transform the US-Yemen relationship for the good of both Yemenis and Americans.

The Yemeni Empowerment Fund exists to help Yemeni individuals and organizations--in Yemen and the diaspora--create positive change in their communities, their countries, and the wider world. We believe that the most effective way to fulfill the mission of the Yemen Peace Project and address the challenges that face Yemenis is through local, Yemeni-run initiatives. The Fund offers small grants and non-resident fellowships--as well as administrative support and mentorship--in four areas of focus, in order to strengthen Yemeni civil society, defend the rights of all Yemenis, and increase understanding of Yemen in the wider world.

The Fund uses contributions from people who care about Yemen (like you!) to fund projects in Yemen and the Yemeni diaspora. We amplify the impact of the financial support we provide by combining it with administrative assistance, mentorship, and (when applicable) fiscal sponsorship. Our fellows and grantees will work closely with YPP staff to make sure they have the expertise and resources they need to make a difference.

Unlike large grantmaking foundations, we don’t have an endowment or a private fortune to draw from. Instead, we rely on individual donors who want to help us fulfill our mission. Click here to make a difference today by donating to the Yemeni Empowerment Fund.

Current opportunities

“Working with the YPP has been a life-saving opportunity; not only for me, but also for some close friends of mine who depend on my monthly support. In a war-torn country, work is a blessing. With rampant unemployment, and the government cutting off salaries to civil servants, I could not otherwise cover my medications and daily expenses. For women in Yemen, the challenge is double. Without the YPP’s support, I would not have been able to pursue a Master’s degree during the civil war. The YPP opened the door for me, encouraged me, and gave me the opportunity to pursue my interests and pay my university's tuition. Working with YPP was a chance to learn and enrich my potential. This fellowship has helped me to develop my critical thinking ability and given me a chance to contribute to the YPP's mission.”
—A.H., 2017 fellow

The Arwa Fellowship for Yemeni women in civil society and public service is a semester- or year-long individual, non-resident fellowship for women working in civil society or the public sector in Yemen.

Fellows will receive a grant which can be used for training, university tuition, or other professional development expenses, or to fund a specific capacity-building initiative. Fellows will work closely with YPP staff and volunteer advisors to design their initiatives or otherwise advance their civil society/public service careers.

Fellows will also assist with the YPP’s in-country programs, or conduct research and analysis in support of the YPP’s work on United States policy toward Yemen. We will tailor each fellowship to match the interests and skills of the fellow. Fellows will receive cash grants totaling $1,000-$5,000 over the course of a semester, or $2,000-$10,000 over the course of a full year.

YPP’s research and analysis form the backbone of all our efforts. We constantly monitor current events in Yemen and study the country’s recent history in order to provide readers with unparalleled commentary and analysis via our blog and podcast. YPP also works to engage with other analysts, scholars, and journalists to contribute to the public body of knowledge on Yemen. Our Mafraj Radio podcast has become the most prominent part of the Research & Analysis program, with an established and growing listenership in the United States, Yemen, and beyond.

In the coming years, we plan to launch the Mobile Micro-Reporting project. We intend to build a network of volunteer informants in locations throughout the country, and use voice, text, and picture messaging via mobile phone to gather “micro-reports” on local issues. Though internet access is hard to come by, GSM and CDMA cellular networks are ubiquitous in much of Yemen. The information we receive—from fluctuations in the prices of flour and fuel to the latest developments in tribal politics—will be shared with the public via the YPP website, and will also be used in our own research and analysis efforts.
We also plan to launch our local journalism fellowships in the near future. This project will recruit a number of young aspiring journalists for four-to-six-month fellowships, during which they will work with mentors experienced in both print and radio journalism to produce in-depth reports on issues of local and national importance in remote areas. Their reports will be featured on the YPP’s podcast and blog.