By: Abdurrahman Shamlan
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced on Wednesday that it would offer a new package of humanitarian aid to Yemen in order to alleviate the country’s humanitarian crises.
USAID head Dr. Rajiv Shah paid a visit to the Yemeni capital of Sana’a on Wednesday and held a press conference in which he announced that his agency would donate a further $ 52 million to Yemen, bringing the total of the USAID aid to Yemen this year to $172 million.
During his visit, Shah met with President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Foreign Minister Abu Baker Al-Qiribi. He also met with leaders from national and international humanitarian organizations working in Yemen as well as with civil society groups.
“I’m here today because President Obama believes strongly in a successful Yemen, one that offers economic opportunities, peace and prosperity for all Yemeni people,” he said at the press conference, which was held at Sana’a’s Sheraton Hotel.
“Through the past several years, USAID has had a strong tradition of investing in health, education, agriculture, economic opportunity and civil society here in Yemen,” he said.
He stated that USAID aid intends to deliver real results, and that it will help improve the quality of life for people throughout the country.
Shah said the aid would help support Yemen’s national dialogue and its transitional process through the promotion of participation by youth groups, women, ethnic minorities and others.
Speaking about Yemen’s water crisis, he said, “Access to water continues to be a current and future challenge that will affect many families throughout Yemen, so $4 million of the commitment will go towards better water access.”
While $20 million of the new USAID package of aid will go towards addressing food insecurity, another $20 million will be earmarked for the expansion of humanitarian relief operations, and is intended to reach more than 72 thousand people in both northern and southern communities.
He pointed out that $22 million will be assigned for a rehabilitation and reconstruction program, to focus on rebuilding schools and public facilities in southern Yemen.