Yemeni Minister: $28 Billion Needed for Short-Term Reconstruction Plans
Yemen's Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Najib al-Auj, said that the war-torn country needs a baseline $28-billion-dollar fund for reconstruction efforts over the next four years.
In the long term, Yemen’s reconstruction could run a bill as large as $60 billion for post-war restoration of institutions, stability and security.
Revamping the country’s ailing health, education and power sectors and rehabilitating city infrastructure figure high on the government’s agenda, Auj told Asharq Al-Awsat, saying the state will work to fix the general budget deficit.
Yemen’s government, for the first time in four years, had announced the budget and had it ratified by the Yemeni parliament.
“The challenge is to implement the 2019 budget. Many projects have been faltering. And state institutions are affected by the war and need to be rebuilt,” Auj noted, explaining that tremendous efforts need to be poured to get the country’s security sector back on its feet and have reconstruction processes rebooted.
The minister also pointed out that government reconstruction data indicates that the country needs an estimated $28 billion in the short term and around $60 billion over the long term.
“So far there are no field surveys or precise studies that can give a certain figure-- but as a starting point, signs show a need for a minimum of $28 billion in the short term—which runs from two and four years. After that, Yemen will need a full-fledged reconstruction which could cost as much as $60 billion in the long term.”
As for restoring the war-torn country’s international ties, Auj said that he had met with representatives from 24 international bodies and states, among which were the EU, New Zealand and Canada.
“Today, there are more than 80 European organizations that have opened offices in the interim capital, Aden. Earlier talk with the EU for reopening its bureaus in Aden are ongoing. They are studying this request and they promised to deliver our messages to decision makers,” Auj revealed.
Giving details about his meeting with Western officials, Auj confirmed relaying the importance of supporting projects related to farmers and fishermen, which represent the largest segment of the Yemeni population.
Aiding Yemen’s agricultural and farming sectors will help create jobs and give public-private sector relations a badly needed boost.