GCC welcomes $600m Saudi aid package for Yemen

Development projects and fuel for power stations aim to ease suffering of Yemenis affected by civil war

Yemenis queue for aid provided by the UN Children's Fund at a camp for displaced people on the outskirts of Sanaa. EPA
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Gulf Co-operation Council Secretary General Nayef Al Hajraf praised Saudi Arabia’s announcement of a $600 million assistance programme for Yemen.

The aid, comprising $400m for development projects and $200m to improve electricity supply, was announced during talks in Riyadh on Thursday between Saudi Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khaled bin Salman and the head of Yemen's Presidential Council, Rashad Al Alimi.

In a message reported by the state Saudi Press Agency, Mr Al Hajraf said the GCC supported Saudi Arabia's efforts to assist the Yemeni people, who had endured more than seven years of civil war after Houthi rebels seized the capital, Sanaa, and forced the government to flee.

The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Programme for Yemen would implement 17 projects in six sectors, including energy, transport, education, water, health, and building state institutions, with a total value of $400m, SPA reported.

Another $200m will go towards providing fuel for power plants.

The war in Yemen has claimed more than a quarter of a million lives, displaced millions and left two-thirds of the country's population dependent on international aid to survive, according to the UN.

Control is divided between the Iran-backed rebels in the north and the government in the south.

Both sides agreed to a UN-brokered truce that went into effect in early April and has since been extended for another two months.

Despite reported violations by the rebels, the ceasefire has opened a window for a political solution to the conflict, the GCC ambassador to Yemen, Sarhan Al Minaikher, told The National last month.

“The GCC views the truce as an opportunity to bring peace and dialogue — not to buy Houthis more time. Violations committed by the Houthis in Marib are being recorded by a special team under the legitimate government — and presenting these findings to the UN,” Mr Al Minaikher said.

Updated: July 02, 2022, 9:51 AM
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