x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Yemen says it needs $11 billion to rebuild its economy

Impoverished nation is struggling to rebuild its economy and complete a tough political transition.

SAN'A, Yemen // Yemen said yesterday 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 San'a.

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

"There are countries that will announce pledges in Riyadh. Those who cannot, will make their pledges in New York," at the Friends of Yemen meeting next month, he 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 in aid for Yemen during the Friends of Yemen meeting held in Riyadh.

But so far only 43% of $455 million earlier asked for by the United Nations and other organizations has been received for humanitarian aid for Yemen.