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Yemeni Minister: Initial Estimates of $12 Billion Damage in War-torn Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Houthi militant walks on a damaged vehicle in Yemen. Reuters

Riyadh-The war’s damage in six Yemeni governorates has reached $12 billion, according to recent surveys.

In exclusive remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Yemeni Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Mohammed al-Maitami said the first phase of an evaluation of war damages in six Yemeni governorates has been completed, adding that, according to first estimates, they have reached $12 billion

Al-Maitami noted that the survey focused on six major sectors which mainly include health, education, electricity and water. He added that the study was carried out by the Yemeni government in cooperation with international experts from the European Union and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). According to the minister, who also heads the Yemeni high committee for reconstruction, the survey showed that damages incurred by Yemen in one year exceeded by far destruction costs in war-torn Syria during five years of fierce armed conflict.

Al-Maitami also said that the survey was carried out on three southeastern and three northwestern governorates, using high-end tools and techniques and modern satellites, adding that the second phase, which would be launched in September, would be more comprehensive and would look into social damage incurred by the Yemeni society, as well as the legal, social and financial institutions that have been destroyed during the war.

The minister of planning and international cooperation gave his remarks in the wake of a meeting held on Tuesday at the Gulf Cooperation Council General Secretariat with regional and international partners to discuss Yemen’s reconstruction file.

Al-Maitami said discussions during the meeting tackled three topics, including the preparation for a workshop to be held in August over Yemen’s reconstruction with the participation of donor states and the GCC General Secretariat, the damage survey, which is performed by the Yemeni government in cooperation with local and international partners, and the frame of reference for the reconstruction of Yemeni regions.

Al-Maitami stressed the government’s keenness on giving private sector and civil society institutions a role in drawing a national and comprehensive vision for the country’s reconstruction. He added that the frame of reference will represent a national document for reconstruction, with the main partners, including the Yemeni government, the private sector and the local society, in addition to regional and international partners. He also stressed the importance of a fair geographic and social representation within the comprehensive reconstruction vision.

The Yemeni minister added that the coming workshop will see the participation of civil society figures, key representatives from both the local and the international private sectors, as well as regional and international strategic partners.

He added that the next evaluation phase would offer a clearer image on the size of damage incurred during the war and the best means to mobilize and use resources for reconstruction.