Saudi Arabia continues its quest for building a better Yemen
Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, supports the efforts being made by President Rashad Mohammed Al-Alimi, chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council, and the other members of the council, for the political and economic advancement of Yemen.
Relations between Saudi Arabia and Yemen are very strong. Saudi support for the country continues in all fields, including politics, relief, development and economics. The Kingdom was — and still is — Yemen’s largest supporter, and offers various benefits through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, also known as KSrelief, and the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program of Yemen.
The Yemeni government’s announcement of the Kingdom’s approval of support for a package of development projects worth $400 million, in addition to $200 million to provide oil derivatives to government power stations in liberated governorates, confirms Saudi Arabia’s continuing generous support for its brothers in Yemen.
The Kingdom also appreciates the efforts of President Al-Alimi and the members of the Presidential Leadership Council, and hopes to accelerate the absorption of Saudi-Emirati funding worth $3.3 billion provided by the two countries to support the Central Bank of Yemen and the developmental and humanitarian projects in the country.
The new and urgent support plan, which includes 17 development projects and programs in vital sectors, embodies the humanitarian and fraternal stances of the Kingdom, under the leadership of King Salman and the Crown Prince, toward the brotherly Yemeni people. The vital projects the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program of Yemen is launching will serve all Yemeni governorates, with priority being given to the temporary capital, Aden. The projects focus on six key sectors: Energy, transportation, education, water, health, and the building of state institutions.
A shipment of oil derivatives provided by the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program of Yemen, worth $30 million out of the $200 million total approved for this purpose, will contribute to securing the operation of power stations and alleviating the suffering of the Yemeni people that has resulted from repeated interruptions to energy supplies.
This package supports the efforts of the Yemeni government to secure the means to meet the country’s needs for oil derivatives through the Support Fund for the Purchase of Oil Derivatives. This is worth $900 million, of which the Kingdom has pledged $600 million, and the UAE $300 million.
The world needs to recognize who has opposed Yemeni legitimacy and who continues to hold the Yemeni people hostage.
Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri
The Kingdom has made — and will continue to make — continual efforts to meet the basic needs of Yemeni citizens, provide the services they require, and ensure a decent life for them. This goal is a priority of the Kingdom’s humanitarian and relief efforts and its initiatives for reconstruction and stimulation of Yemen’s economy.
Since the establishment of the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program of Yemen, 207 development projects with a total value of more than $892 million have been implemented, which have contributed to improving the lives of about 15 million Yemeni citizens in 14 governorates.
KSrelief continues to implement vital projects in Yemen; by the end of May, 704 projects with a total value in excess of $4 billion were in progress or had been completed.
Saudi support for Yemen aims to improve the economic and living conditions in the country, which will contribute to supporting the efforts of the Presidential Leadership Council to meet the needs of Yemeni citizens. The support is not limited to a specific geographical area, so that everyone can benefit.
The package of new development projects includes multiple sectors comprising transportation, health, electricity and water, and focuses on the Yemeni governorates as a whole, targeting in particular the young, the elderly, the sick and those worst-affected by the war. The projects will improve the economic situation in the country as a first step on the road to recovery.
This package concentrates on capacity building and human development in all fields, as well as projects in the transportation sector, including the development of Aden International Airport; electrical power generation and distribution projects; and a desalination project and the enhancement of its sources.
The development projects in the new package also include healthcare initiatives, including a university hospital that will be established in Hadhramaut, and the provision of a medical college and an oncology center in Taiz. Some of the projects focus on youth, for example the construction of four sports arenas.
The new package is not limited to these sectors but also includes projects being undertaken for the first time, including the establishment of the first seawater desalination plant in the country. It will benefit from renewable energy through the use of solar power for road management.
These large developmental aid packages will undoubtedly have positive effects on the lives of citizens, and the Yemeni people will feel their impact in the areas of transportation, health, electricity and water. They will also improve the social and economic conditions in Yemen, which will contribute to the improved functioning of state institutions.
The question remains whether the international community will show its support for Yemen and these projects. Will the world’s media write about them?
The international community has failed to understand the reality in Yemen, including who is responsible for the deteriorating situation there. The world needs to recognize who has opposed Yemeni legitimacy and who continues to hold the Yemeni people hostage. International aid is being bought and sold; Yemeni children are being recruited into the military, and the refusal to reopen blocked roads for the people of Taiz illustrates the lack of respect for the Yemeni people.
There are many questions and had they been answered with all honesty and sincerity it would have resolved the problems so that the pointless suffering of Yemeni people as a result of Iranian terrorism would have ended forever.
• Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri is a political analyst and international relations scholar.