US Cancels Massive Aid for Yemen After Uprisings

Protesters on the streets of Sana'a, Yemen. Photo by: Sallam / CC BY

The United States was poised to provide Yemen a record amount in aid last February – $1 billion in total over several years - before the fiery street protests calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh broke out. The public’s discontent made the donor country rethink its aid strategy in the Middle Eastern nation and pulled the plug on the funding.

The aid package, which included $200 million in counterterrorism support for fiscal 2011 and nearly an equal sum for development assistance, was meant to strengthen U.S.-Yemen ties amid foiled terrorist activities that originated from the country and secure Saleh’s allegiance to the fight against al-Qaida in the Arabian peninsula, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Obama administration is now calling for Saleh’s exit.

The Netherlands has also suspended €14.7 million ($20.9 million) of the total €23.7 million worth of aid it allocated for Yemen in 2011. The suspension covers all Dutch aid to institutions connected with the Yemeni government as a “political signal that the Netherlands deplores the actions of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime,” the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement last week.  

>> Netherlands Freezes Aid to Yemeni Government

Read more about U.S. development aid.

About the author

  • Louie-An Pilapil

    Louie-An is a former senior development analyst at Devex Manila. She has held consulting and editorial positions at the Asian Development Bank in Manila and a business-to-business media company in Hong Kong and mainland China.

Join the Discussion