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UK seeks full support for Saudi Arabia’s talks on Yemen’s stability

Emmanuel Bwembya

Sept. 20, 2019

UK envoy welcomes KSA’s pledge of $500 million in humanitarian aid to Yemen
The Kingdom provided $3.2 billion to Yemen’s central bank to support the Yemeni rial
NEW YORK: UK ambassador to the International Organization of the Security Council member states, Karen Pierce, on Monday appealed for full support for the “Jeddah talks” planned by the Saudi leadership to provide stability in Yemen. Pierce made the call during a UN Security Council session on Yemen, saying that the UK backs Saudi Arabia’s efforts to establish stability in the strife-torn country. She reaffirmed the UK’s backing for the negotiations, saying: “We are ready to provide support in any way possible.” The UK envoy welcomed the Kingdom’s pledge of $500 million in humanitarian aid to Yemen and called on all donors to provide additional funding in the coming year to ensure the $4.2 billion aid target was met. Saudi Arabia is the biggest donor in the history of the UN, as well as the biggest supporter of the UN Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen. It is also the largest supporter of humanitarian operations in Yemen through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) and other programs such as the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen. The Kingdom has supported Yemen for decades through the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), and recently through the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen, which has implemented 68 development projects in the country. The Kingdom’s support for Yemen since the 1970s has included the construction of the Saudi Hospital in Hajjah in 1996 and the Al-Salam Hospital in Saada in 1982. Saudi Arabia has been paying $10 million annually to both hospitals to help cover operating expenses (salaries, medicines, maintenance), even though both hospitals are located in areas under Houthi militia control. The Kingdom provided $3.2 billion to Yemen’s central bank to support the Yemeni rial. Saudi Arabia also provided more than $1.3 billion as of August 2019 to help Yemeni traders revitalize the country’s economy and facilitate the importation of basic foods (wheat, rice, sugar, edible oils). More than $14 billion was also contributed to support transport, public support programs, humanitarian assistance, financial support, social services and development projects. The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen has distributed petroleum derivatives to 64 power plants in Yemen. This grants amounts to $60 million per month and was allocated to 10 governorates: Aden, Abyan, Shabwa, Al-Mahrah, Al-Jawf, Hadramout, Socotra, Taiz, Marib and Lahij.
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