ARC-WH participation in the Second ALIPH Donors’ Conference

On 31 January 2022, ARC-WH was invited to present the fruitful partnership project entitled ‘Emergency Restoration Programme for Damaged Buildings in the World Heritage Site of the Old Walled City of Shibam’ located in the Republic of Yemen. The project has been generously funded by the ALIPH Foundation and implemented in close partnership with local partners such as the General Organisation for the Preservation of Historic Cities in Yemen (GOPHCY- Shibam Branch).

Since being added to the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2015, the site has suffered from the effects of armed conflict and severe torrential rains possibly resulting from climate change, which has led to a drastic increase in structural decay, poverty and migration outside the city. The Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the site is not only related to the iconic traditional skyscraper buildings (commonly known as the Manhattan of the Desert), but also to the fact that the city has been continuously populated since the First Millennium AD.

The project partnership directly focuses on safeguarding the OUV by restoring 15 historic buildings through the active job creation for local craftsmen who apply their traditional restoration expertise to allow the local families to return to their homes and counteract their migration and resulting neglect.

Out of 15 historic buildings, the restoration works of seven are already complete, and the works have started for the following five. The project is expected to be finalised in May 2022.

The Second ALIPH Donors’ Conference successfully garnered significant support from countries and international institutions towards the collective call to protect cultural heritage in conflict areas and pledged an impressive amount of USD 90 million for future projects.

© ALIPH – Antoine Tardy