The Saudi ambassador to Yemen visited the southern port city of Aden on Monday to oversee the Kingdom's first shipment of a promised $60 million monthly fuel aid delivery.
Flanked by bodyguards and with military helicopters circling overhead, Mohammed Said Al Jaber toured the port where tankers were to deliver the fuel, before addressing local media at a press conference.
He described Monday’s delivery as an extension of ongoing Saudi aid to Yemen. Saudi Arabia can’t wait for Iranian-backed Houthi militias to accept a political settlement before commencing with development projects, he said, describing aid and development as a "priority for all Yemenis".
“The Saudi development and reconstruction programme for Yemen is a real example of the extent to which Saudi Arabia is serious about assisting Yemen to build a better future,” he told reporters.
In August, as rising living costs prompted protests in Aden, Ambassador Al Jaber announced that Saudi Arabia would start providing monthly petroleum products to the value of $60 million in order to fuel power stations and boost the riyal.
The stimulus package would “greatly contribute to improving the economic situation in Yemen and boost the Yemeni Riyal’s exchange rate against foreign currencies to improve the standard of living," he said at the time.
Saudi Arabia, along with the UAE, has intervened in the civil war at the request of Yemen's internationally recognised government, which is currently headquartered in Aden.
They have also provided significant aid to the country, which aid organisations continue to warn is on the brink of famine.
Earlier this month, the UN’s humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock told the Security Council that 14 million people – half of Yemen’s population – needed aid to survive.
“There is a clear and present danger of an imminent and great big famine engulfing Yemen," he said. This famine would be “much bigger than anything any professional in this field has seen during their working lives."
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