Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – “Rebuilding Saada” and “combating terrorism” will top the agenda of the international donors’ conference on Yemen to be held in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Saturday. The meeting will be attended by officials from the Gulf states, the US, Canada, the European Union and executives of funds supporting Yemen.
The Saudi capital will host the international donors’ conference on Yemen, part of which will be devoted to reviewing the progress made by the Yemeni government regarding development based on the allocations made by donors of around 5.7 billion dollars for the third development plan.
The Yemeni Ambassador to Riyadh Mohammed al Ahwal told Asharq Al-Awsat that “Rebuilding Saada will top the agenda in the meeting in Saudi Arabia with donor states…in addition to fighting terrorism and Al Qaeda.” Al Ahwal stated that at the conference, President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s government will present the fourth five-year development plan in view of the fact that the third development will be coming to a close at the end of 2010.
Al Ahwal said that “development is the key to solving many problems. Supporting the development of Yemen will help eliminate the sources of terrorism and stabilize Yemen and the region.” Al Ahwal pointed out that the two most pressing issues troubling Yemen at the moment are poverty and combating terrorism. He stressed that the country is in dire need of carrying out a number of development projects to incorporate labourers and the unemployed youth “who might fall victim to terrorist organizations, therefore affecting the stability of Yemen and other countries.”
The Yemeni ambassador said that his country is determined to “rebuild what the war has destroyed in Saada” and hoped the Houthis would adhere to the bilateral 6-point agreement, security check points would be set up along the border, Saada and surrounding areas would be cleared of landmines, roads would be opened, local authorities would resume their activities, displaced people would return to their homes, and that Saada would be part of the development program in Yemen.
Al Ahwal maintained that the donors’ conference to be held in Saudi Arabia on Saturday is “an extension to the two international donors’ conferences held in London in 2006 and 2010.” According to al Ahwal, there will be “an assessment and follow up on the financial grant given to the Yemeni republic.”
International donors gave Yemen a financial grant of around 5.7 billion dollars, more than half of which was donated by the Gulf states. Saudi Arabia alone contributed a total of one billion dollars. Al Ahwal emphasized that the majority of the one billion dollar grant offered by Saudi Arabia to his country was allocated for the construction of the “main highway that links more than five provinces, starting from Amran down to Aden.”
Al Ahwal also mentioned that his country will be presenting “the reform program” adopted by its government at the donors’ conference tomorrow and it would be revised by the donor states.