The IMF says the 2011 political crisis has taken a serious toll on the economy
A Yemeni farmer plows his land with a donkey in Wadi Thula, 50 kms from the capital Sanaa, on July 17. Yemen said Wednesday it needs $11 billion in foreign aid, as the impoverished nation struggling to rebuild its economy and complete a tough political transition, prepares for an international donors' meeting next week. © Mohammed Huwais - AFP/File
The IMF says the 2011 political crisis has taken a serious toll on the economy
AFP
Last updated: August 29, 2012

Yemen says it needs $11 billion, donors to meet next week

Yemen said Wednesday it needs $11 billion in foreign aid as the impoverished nation struggling to rebuild its economy and complete a tough political transition prepares for an international donor meeting.

"Our needs are $14 billion. The Yemeni government can cover some part, but there remains a gap of $11 billion," Planning and International Cooperation Minister Mohammed al-Saadi said ahead of the September 4 meeting in Riyadh.

The minister said Saudi Arabia was to deposit $1 billion in Yemen's central bank to strengthen the country's rial, under an accord to be signed by the Saudi Development Fund on the sidelines of the Riyadh meeting.

The conference will address several issues, including reconstruction, humanitarian needs and ways to strengthen security and stability in Yemen, he told reporters in Sanaa.

It will also cover political dialogue, preparations for general polls and basic infrastructure needs, Saadi said.

Yemen is undergoing a political transition after a year-long uprising unseated veteran leader Ali Abdullah Saleh and left the economy of the Arabian peninsula's poorest country in shambles.

In May, wealthy Saudi Arabia already pledged $4 billion (3.2 billion euros) in aid for Yemen during the Friends of Yemen meeting held in Riyadh.

But so far only 43 percent of $455 million earlier asked for by the UN and other organisations has been received for humanitarian aid for Yemen.

The Friends of Yemen forum was set up at an international conference in London in January 2010 to help Sanaa combat a resurgent threat from Al-Qaeda in the ancestral homeland of its slain leader, Osama bin Laden, as well as other security challenges.

The IMF says the 2011 political crisis has taken a serious toll on the economy, which it said contracted by 10.5 percent, while inflation soared to 17.6 percent.

Aid agencies say nearly half of Yemen's 10-million population do not have enough food to eat, and one in three children is severely malnourished.

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