Yemen secures more aid pledges

Displaced Yemenis camp at the courtyard of a school. The country will receive $4 billion support from Arab and Western donors. Photo by: P. Rubio Larrauri / UNHCR

Arab and Western donors have promised $4 billion to support development projects and stabilization efforts in Yemen — a country feared to be on the brink of a humanitarian disaster.

The pledges were announced at a Friends of Yemen meeting held May 23 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The host country promised the bulk of pledges: $3.25 billion to help restore stability. The country, however, did not provide details on how the money will be disbursed, Reuters notes.

During the meeting, the Yemeni government sought more than $10 billion to fund much-needed economic development, infrastructure and humanitarian projects.

The meeting is the first of its kind in two years and focused primarily on identifying ways to help stabilize Yemen, where security has been deteriorating following attacks believed to be led by al-Qaida forces. There are also the lingering effects of a recent pro-democracy uprising and a series of unrest in the north.

The humanitarian situation in the country is a growing concern as well. A group of seven charities has warned that the food crisis in the country is reaching “catastrophic proportions.” Donors have started taking notice, with the United Kingdom announcing ahead of the Friends of Yemen meeting 28 million pounds ($34.6 million) in pledges to help feed up to 250,000 in Yemen.

Another Friends of Yemen meeting — focused this time on development aid — will be held in Saudi Arabia this June.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributes 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.