Yemenis have launched a social media campaign with the hashtag #BringDevBack – or Bring Development Back to Yemen – highlighting how years of war have destroyed the opportunity for development.
The campaign shows the people of Yemen are already thinking about rebuilding their country despite the ongoing conflict.
Wesam Qaid, executive director at Sanaa-based economic developmental organisation SMEPS, told Al Jazeera the goal of the campaign is looking towards a hopeful future.
“I am so proud to be part of this campaign #BringDevback in Yemen, it’s an important message. It means ending the war, it means thinking about the future, it means hope and jobs for young people,” Qaid said.
“And it means getting the country moving again in the right direction.”
For many, it is also a way of showing humanitarian aid is not enough and their country needs major investment for reconstruction.
“We need development back in Yemen. We are including everyone in this campaign: from different backgrounds to political views,” Farah al-Wazeer from SMEPS told Al Jazeera.
“We need development to have a better education, to have food and water to be secured. We need more jobs and we definitely need more rights and freedom,” she added.
Since the campaign started, people on social media have been sharing their view of what issues need to be tackled to help improve Yemen.
Due to the ongoing conflict, there are less than 45% of private health centres are functioning.
Its a time to say loudly:
"Yemen needs a #resilience for the private sector rather than humanitarian aids".#BringDevBack#تنمية_لاجل_اليمن
— Mohammed Al-Owaini (@MohamedAlowaini) February 25, 2018
#BringDevBack interviews with women IDPs I have come through call for income generation & livelihoods activities, the humanitarian plan dedicated 3% only on funding those activities. Women are tired of hanging to a life line of aid boxes, they need sustainable solutions. #Yemen pic.twitter.com/0aWCp8mohh
— Rasha Jarhum رشا جرهوم (@RashaJarhum) February 25, 2018
— Tareq Hassan (@tareq_hassanye) February 25, 2018
— Abdulrahman Sharhan (@Abdulra49635455) March 1, 2018
yemen need serious action from States supporting & organizations
As we know most people lost their job because the war.
Don't give them Basket of aids!
Runs out within month but we should Support small enterprises to get their own income#BringDevBack#تنمية_لاجل_اليمن
— akram saleh (@akram1_1) February 26, 2018
— Amina Bintalib (@AminaBintalib) February 25, 2018
Many others are simply sharing examples of community initiatives to empower each other.
Abdulrahman Sharhan, one of the people participating in the social media campaign, told Al Jazeera he thinks development is essential to the future of Yemen.
“It’s about creating jobs and ending the war. What I have been doing to support development is I have been supporting 800 female farmers to improve the quality of coffee and as a result to export exceptional coffee to the world. We need the humanitarian aid – but also development,” Sharhan told Al Jazeera.
“For me development means hope. A country without development is nothing.”