The Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation in Yemen, Mohammed AlHawri, has cautioned of the risks of suspending the World Bank’s activity in Yemen. He expressed his fear about similar decisions that could be made by other donor countries and international organizations.
The deputy explained that the bank is considered a neutral professional enterprise for donors. When such an enterprise takes a similar action, there are fears that other organizations will follow suit. It could also result in stopping any funds that Yemen has received, whether it was from the donors’ conference or during the last period.
AlHawri said to Nawaafith Network that one of the main reasons the World Bank took such a decision was because of the unconstitutional situation that the capital is currently undergoing. This decision came based on the policy of the bank, which states the suspension of its activity in any country undergoing unconstitutional or illegitimate circumstances.
Suspending the bank’s activity will stop the funding of projects – in all fields – whether they are already in process or they have been agreed on and was supposed to be done in the coming period, according to Al Hawri. He also added that such a decision would have a negative impact on the economical activity on the sectors that usually carry out those projects. He clarified that this will cause the international host of the projects to stop their work and will deprive Yemen the financial portfolio allocated to it, which is a total amount of 900 million dollars.
Al Hawri, who is also a professor of Economy at Sana’a University, said that there are a number of projects that the World Bank is working on in different fields in Yemen. The most prominent of those is in the infrastructure sector. This sector includes 6 main sub-sectors including roads, education (basic, higher, and technical education), energy, health and population, women and social services. He explained that the decision would suspend the funding of two important projects in the electrical field. The first is renewable energy by wind, which is currently being constructed in Mocha port in Taiz province, and the second is the second electrical gas station in Mareb. In addition to this, projects in the health field like immunizations campaigns were stumbled due to the decision.
Al Hawri described the decision as unfair and doesn’t consider the circumstances that are currently imposed on the country. He said that the bank stopped its funding a month ago and has been asked to reconsider the case.