By: Adel al-Silwi
SANA'A, Aug. 25 (Saba)- Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Mohammad al-Sa'adi has confirmed that the fuel subsidy cuts is a 100- percent Yemeni decision serving the interest of the Yemeni ordinary citizen and the national economy.
In an interview with Yemen News Agency (Saba), Minister al-Sa'adi noted Yemen is facing big challenges require integration of Yemeni people for realizing a better future meets people's aspirations.
While he confirms that political stability is crucial in Yemen so as the economy can improve as demanded, he deemed that the government has made many achievements during the past three years despite challenges and complications it encountered.
Al-Sa'adi unearthed that the eighth meeting of Yemen's Friends Group scheduled on the 24th of next September in New York will discuss three main topics, political, security and economic. A report from the Steering Committee on the seventh meeting held in Landon on the 29th of April will be also discussed.
He announced that the government will provide a package of programs and projects of the national action plan for youth employment 2016 prepared by the ministry of planning and submitted it to the cabinet. The minister added that the matrix includes programs and projects worth USD 708 millions and that the available financing to implement them is only 221 millions with a ratio of 31 percent. These programs will be presented to the eighth meeting for filling the funding gap.
Minister al-Sa'adi has called all political and social forces to shoulder their national responsibility on the country development and for integration towards implementing the NDC's outcomes to create good atmospheres for their implementation.
The process of donors' pledges to Yemen
According to the minister, remarkable percentage of the donors' pledges have been allocated during 2012-2013, making it clear that 26 percent of spending and 36 percent of pledges have been carried out with a ratio of 62 percent. He noted that that there are difficulties facing allocations because of some donors' delay to allocate their pledges, considering some pledges as loans and making their former pledges made in 2006 new ones.
Projects with priorities need pledges to be carried out
Big part of the donations will go to infrastructure projects like roads that include Aden-Taiz Highway with the length of 140 Km, as strategic project within Aden-Sa'ada International Highway funded by the World Bank and Saudi Fund for Development. Other vital projects in fields of water and electricity, as well as health sector will be added as projects of priority.
Pledges of GCC countries
The GCC countries' pledges have reached USD 4, 415 billions; half of the funds were allocated to Yemen during Riyadh Donor Conference and the Fourth Meeting for Yemen's Friends held in New York in 2012. Minister of Planning and International Cooperation thanked Saudi King for providing generous support to Yemen during President Hadi's visit to Saudi Arabia as these aid came in difficult conditions.
New funding pledges
A number of donors like The Federal Republic of Germany, Sweden, UK, the United States and Japan have made new pledges amounting to USD 280 million during the period between September 2013 and May 2014. These pledges have made three percent increase in the total allocations estimated at USD 8, 2 billion. Allocation of the new pledges have been completed and totally approved.
What the government achieved in the framework of joint document with donors
The government and donors have agreed in the technical meeting for following up Riyadh Donors Meeting held in Sana'a on the 19th of June 2013 on choosing short list of priorities included in the joint document. The document also included completion allocating donors' allocations and providing indicative plan for withdrawals.
According to Minister al-Sa'adi, the government chose this list and achieved many accomplishments. It has completed a twining plan for the state budget along with the transitional program for development and stability and its investing program. The technical team, the ministerial committee and donors' representatives ratified the plan and presented it to the concerned donors to finance its activities. Another executive plan on implementing the fingerprint and photo system to get rid of unreal employees and the double jobs in the civil service and army and security has been approved.
National Youth Employment Action Plan
The government also prepared Youth Employment Action Plan 2016 and formed a technical team to complete preparatory activities to finish the plan. The plan, which was made by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, includes projects and programs worth USD 708 million. 221 millions of the required financing are available. The government intends to present this plan to the donors' meeting scheduled on the 24th of the forthcoming September to fill the financing gap.
Reform programs with the IMF
According to Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Mohammad al-Sa'adi, the government has mad inclusive reform program and some of these reforms like correcting fuel prices and lifting oil derivatives subsidies. This decision is a 100-percent Yemeni decision has been implemented in pressing conditions to serve the interests of ordinary citizen and for economic recovery, as well as for fighting smuggling. The government demanded the International Monetary Fund to be allowed to enter a short-term reform program for proceeding with economic and financial reforms needed for incomes and rationalizing expenditures.
The government, despite huge challenges it faced during the past three years, has accomplished many achievements in different fields. The minister hoped political and security stability for the country so that economy will move forward as demanded. He also hoped that all political forces to respond to the national integration called by President Hadi.