World Bank back in action in Yemen

Coming on the heels of President Ali Abdullah’s departure, the World Bank announced it is lifting suspensions on all its credits and grants to Yemen.

On Monday (Jan. 23), just hours after the controversial political figure left for the United States, the funding agency released a statement saying it has re-established its presence in Yemen and lifted its suspension on disbursements under the Yemen portfolio.

The funding agency closed its office in the capital Sanaa in March — the start of the political turmoil in the country — and suspended disbursements amounting to $882 million in commitments in July. The remaining balance totaled $542 million.

Wael Zakout, World Bank country manager in Sanaa, said the bank will accelerate the implementation of key projects to restore urgent basic services and help generate jobs in the country. It will also assist the Yemeni government in taking a social and economic impact assessment of the crisis — which lasted 10 months — in partnership with the United Nations, the European Union and the Islamic Development Bank.

The bank’s re-engagement with Yemen comes just in time as the strife-torn country is starting to rebuild. The move is also only weeks before the presidential elections, which is scheduled on Feb. 21.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.