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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Saudi Arabia donates $2.2 billion in oil products to help Yemen



At a donor's conference in Riyadh the Saudi Arabian minister for external affairs announced a gift of oil and oil products to Yemen worth $2.2 billion to meet domestic demand in the country. The Saudi deputy minister said the donation was necessary to keep Yemen running. Yemen has oil and gas resources of its own but much production has beenj shut down because of the security situation.

Unknown attackers just recently blew up a gas pipeline that fed liquefied natural gas to an export terminal. The pipeline had been repaired just a few days ago after previous sabotage had shut it down in August. A bomb was planted underneath the pipeline and exploded.

Saudi Arabia has called for aid to help Yemen which is in dire economic straits. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council with the support of the U.S. brokered a deal that saw former president Saleh step down. His vice-president Hadi then took power and eventually was elected president unopposed. Hadi has the support of the Saudis, GCC, and the U.S. The U.S. has been active in actions against Islamic militants often linked to Al Qaeda in Yemen. However the economy is in ruins and there is a humanitarian disaster as many people have fled from areas of conflict.

Saudi Arabia asked for up to $11 billion in aid to support the country in its planned transition to democracy. The meeting is at the level of experts and ambassadors. In May Saudi Arabia pledged $3..25 billion in aid and other donors pledged a sum total of $4 billion. Yemen's Planning and Internaitonal Cooperation MInister said that Yemen requires $11 billion in aid. Mohamed al-Saadi said:“Our needs are $14 billion. The Yemeni government can cover some part, but there remains a gap of $11 billion.”

Wael Zakout World Bank manager for Yemen said:“We hope to raise U.S. $6 billion during the donor meeting to cover the transition period lasting until the middle of 2014..We will hold another donor conference after 2014 to raise the rest of the needed funds." The donors meeting will discuss reconstruction, humanitarian needs, as well as security.

Yemen faces separatist movements in both the north and south as well as conflict with Al Qaeda-linked Islamic radicals. There are plans for political dialogue and elections. There will be a meeting in New York of the Friends of Yemen next month. One can judge who is helping run Yemen by the locations of donor conferences! For more seethis article. I

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