By: Aref Abdullah Al-Selmi
The donors’ conference for Yemen that was held in Al-Riyadh, KSA, this year – at which donors pledged 6.4 billion U.S. Dollars as assistance to Yemen to helped it overcome a state of crisis and find relief during its transitional period – indicates a real and faithful effort.
The amount is really large compared with earlier financial support for Yemeni governments. The question now is whether the government has a real mechanism for using this money on real, productive projects, projects which could lead to independence? I hear that Yemen receives millions of dollars nearly every day as grants and assistance, but do we know where such amounts go?
International support always goes in vain, as it’s mostly spent on foreign experts, useless studies and symposiums; therefore, such amounts of money never positively affect the country’s development.
I hope this won’t be repeated with the recent financial support from the donors’ conference because this was a serious effort by the donors to invest each dollar for the sake of the Yemeni people. The K.S.A. put one billion U.S. Dollars in the Yemeni Central Bank as a first step towards supporting stabilization of the Yemeni currency.
Depending on others is not the right way to sustain, but the government must invest the money collected from donors in long-term development and start producing projects that help employ many youths and which invests in their capacity for national development. There must be a clear strategy, one which can take Yemen from its recent deteriorated situation to a better future.
Our government also must think long-term and look out for its real resources. We have to use the donor money and start looking for opportunities to produce a sustainable income for the government budget, and for the people too. The government could get future sustainable income for its budget by investing in promising sectors such as fishery, tourism, minerals and petroleum extraction projects. The most important element that the government has to consider is the investment in its human resources, as it represents the cornerstone for development in any country. Such investment could come through building a solid structure for a practical and productive educational system.
Thanks to our brothers and friends who stood in support of Yemen. I hope our government becomes serious about the next period and introduces real economic reforms.