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International Conference in Riyadh Agrees on ‘Aid Package’ to Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A woman makes bread inside her tent at a camp for internally displaced people near Sanaa, Yemen, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah/File Photo

Riyadh – Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said on Wednesday that the Kingdom and the World Bank would cover 60 percent of a $500 million food aid package, proposed by the Bank to assist the Yemeni population.

Riyadh hosted on Wednesday an international meeting on ways to provide support for Yemen and unify efforts to achieve a secured future for Yemenis, with the participation of 64 states and regional and international organizations.

Organized by Saudi Arabia and the World Bank, with the participation of other donor countries, the conference was entitled: “Recovery and Reconstruction in Yemen,” and saw an agreement by the Kingdom and the Bank to commit $300 million towards an aid package that would address Yemen’s immediate food security needs.

The Saudi finance minister said the World Bank suggested a total package of $500 million to finance imports of rice and wheat to the war-torn country.

“The World Bank has offered $200 million and the kingdom is ready to provide $100 million. So only 60 percent of this expected fund was covered in this meeting. We expect that the rest will be covered in the coming weeks,” Al-Jadaan said.

Vice President of the World Bank for the Middle East and Africa, Hafez Ghanem, said that the Bank would not wait for the end of the crisis in Yemen to launch reconstruction projects.

“There are areas in Yemen where it is possible to (start) work already. There are big needs in these areas,” Ghanem said.

“When we work on reconstruction, we hope that it will give hope to the Yemenis and a push to achieve peace in Yemen,” he added.

A United Nations pledging conference for Yemen last month raised promises of $1.1 billion to support the country’s population.

In earlier remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Yemeni Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Dr. Mohammad al-Saadi said that the World Bank has committed $816 million to support emergency projects in Yemen.

He explained that the money would be allocated to the areas of education, health, food, import, and welfare.