Yemen reconstruction costs estimated at $15 billion

Sunday 04/09/2016
Yemeni security forces inspect unexploded ordnance confiscated from al-Qaeda militants in Lahj province, east of the southern port city of Aden.

Sana’a - Reconstruction of war-torn Yemen could cost $15 bil­lion, a cabinet minister said.

“The World Bank es­timates… $15 billion,” Abdulraqeb Saif Fateh, Yemen’s minister of Local Administration, said on the sidelines of a workshop on Yemen’s post-war recovery.

He gave no details of what the fig­ure would cover but the war has left Yemenis suffering from shortages of food, water, sanitation and health care.

Fateh, who is also chairman of Yemen’s High Relief Committee, spoke near the close of a two-day workshop on “post-conflict recov­ery and reconstruction” in Yemen. The workshop was attended by in­ternational donors and organised by Yemen’s government and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

The six-member GCC in Decem­ber pledged a global conference on the reconstruction of Yemen after a political solution to the war is reached.

Yemen was already the Arab world’s poorest country when a Saudi-led Arab coalition began air raids in March 2015 and later sent in ground forces to support Yemen’s internationally recognised govern­ment

The coalition intervened after Shia Houthi rebels and their allies overran much of the country.

Saudi Arabia says the rebels have received weapons from its regional rival Iran, a charge Tehran denies.

More than half of the 6,600 peo­ple killed in Yemen in the fighting have been civilians, the United Na­tions said.

Violence has intensified since UN-brokered peace talks in Kuwait were suspended in early August.

Analysts expect no quick end to the war, despite the recent an­nouncement by US Secretary of State John Kerry of a new peace ini­tiative.

Fateh said it is “not easy to re­gain the trust” of donors after what has happened but the government pledges transparent and account­able programmes.

“The donors are ready but they are requesting a safe environment and that’s their right,” he said, add­ing that local partners and agencies were ready to do their part.

In May, UN Special Envoy to Yem­en Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed called for “an economic rescue authority” to save the Yemeni economy from further deterioration. He said the consultative body would include experts proposed by Yemen’s war­ring parties.

It would be backed by the United Nations, the World Bank and others.

(Agence France-Presse)