More aid pledges come Yemen’s way

Young girl in Yemen. The Asian country has secured more than $2 billion in new aid pledges. Photo by: Wolfgang Gressmann / Oxfam

Yemen has secured more than $2 billion in new aid pledges, which, when added to previous donor commitments, fulfill the country’s urgent financing needs.

The pledges were made at a two-day conference in Saudi Arabia. They come on top of the $4 billion donors promised at a Friends of Yemen meeting held in May. The bulk of the pledges in May were from Saudi Arabia, which promised to provide $3.25 billion.

On the first day of the ongoing conference, Yemen and Saudi Arabia signed three financing agreements that formalize the latter’s pledge and outline how the money will be disbursed: $1 billion in credit to be deposited to the Central Bank of Yemen, $20 million for a wind power plant project in the city of Mocha, and $6 million to support the government’s efforts to fight measles, according to Saba News Agency.

The World Bank, meanwhile, confirmed it will provide a $400 million grant on top of the $700 million it had already committed. The bank first announced its intention to boost financial support for Yemen in June, as Devex has reported.

Put together, the aid pledges from the two conferences more than cover the $4.7 billion Yemen said it urgently needs to address “serious humanitarian needs by February.” The total pledges “fund the short term as well as significant portions of the long term,” said Inger Andersen, the World Bank’s regional vice president for Middle East and North Africa.

Yemen’s government has estimated it needs $11.9 billion to balance a massive budget gap and fund its political transition and economic development plans. The government and its partners hope to secure more pledges to address this financing need at another donor conference on Sept. 27 in New York.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.