$10 bln Aid, Yemen to ask at “Friends of Yemen”

Yemen will ask donors for about $10 billion in urgent aid at a “Friends of Yemen” meeting to be held in the Saudi capital later this month, the country’s planning minister said Wednesday.

“We are talking about $10 billion that we will need for economic recovery, to stabilize the economy and the currency,” Mohammed Said al-Saadi said on the sidelines of a donors conference in Sana’a.

“This is just an estimate at this point,” he said adding that “these figures will be discussed” even though the meeting of foreign ministers from the Gulf countries, and representatives of the United States, the European Union and the United Nations in Riyadh on May 23 will focus mainly on political aspects of Yemen’s transition.

The interim transitional government is in the process of finalizing an emergency plan to re-launch its shattered economy, still reeling from a year-long uprising that forced veteran leader Ali Abdullah Saleh out of power.

According to the minister, the plan sets out the most “urgent priorities,” including the spiraling food crisis that the United Nations estimates has affected some 10 million Yemenis.

The plan will also focus on rebuilding infrastructure, specifically electricity, water and oil products, and ensure severely debilitated health and social services are restored, he added, according to AFP.