By Asma Al-Mohattwari
On 16 February, the World Bank held a press conference to announce three new projects totaling $206 million in support of Yemen’s transitional process and reconstruction efforts.
The World Bank’s Board of Directors stated that it had approved the three projects for the benefit of the Yemeni people.
The projects included a $100 million emergency crisis recovery project, which is intended to provide support to beneficiaries of the Social Welfare Fund; a $40 million road asset management project; and a $66 million basic education development project, which has a focus of improving educational standards in Yemen.
Mr. Wael Zakout, country Manager of the World Bank in Yemen, said that it was significant that not only did the World Bank approve the projects, but it also gave approval for about 60% of the money which had pledged only a few months ago in Riyadh.
“We want to set an example for other donors to accelerate the flow of funds to Yemen, as the transitional period is very short and the Yemeni people are in real need of quick help,” he said.
Mr. Zakout said that a meeting is being planned to be held in Sana’a ahead of the Friends of Yemen meeting on 24 February.
“We will be having a meeting with the government and with all the donors in order go over four main points of discussion,” he said.
The World Bank Manager also announced it had reached an agreement with Yemen’s government via the Supreme Anti corruption Authority in support of anti corruption efforts.
In a World Bank Press release on the announcement of the three programs, World Bank Country Director for Yemen Hartwig Schafer said, “The goal of these grants is to give Yemenis a clear sense that their lives are getting better.”