SABA - Yemen news agency

Print date: 22-03-2019
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French cooperation in Yemen: long-standing and diverse

SANA'A, Oct. 25 (Saba)- Yemen and France maintain political, economic, cultural and scientific cooperation relations.

France supported the unification of Yemen in 1990 and the preservation of its unity during the civil war in 1994. It played the role of mediator in the conflict over the Hanish Islands between Yemen and Eritrea.

Since its reunification, Yemen's bilateral relations with France are very close. The country has been part of France’s Priority Solidarity Zone (PSZ) since February 2002.

As a tool establishing a multi-year framework for French Public Development Aid (PDA) to Yemen, this Partnership Framework Document (DCP) set out the directions for French cooperation in Yemen over the next five years (2007-2011).

France’s priorities for aid to Yemen are focused on two main sectors (agriculture and food safety, on the one side, and infrastructures, on the other), as well as several cross-cutting sectors, such as: governance (including decentralised and non-governmental cooperation), cultural diversity and academic and research cooperation.

Few days ago, Yemen and France signed two cooperation agreements in fields of financing small enterprise and supporting agricultural training and research in Yemen. Under the first agreement, French Social Fund for Development (SFD) provides euro 700,000 for funding development projects in order to improve women living conditions. The SFD has granted Yemen euro 1,000,000 allocated to support 18 projects and 90 non-governmental organizations.

The second agreement is stipulated to provide an amount of YR 35,000,000 for supporting and rehabilitating agricultural researches. The agreement aims to enhance the role of the agricultural vocational and technical institutes in Yemen as well as to develop researches in fighting Dubas bugs that affect palms in Hadramout governorate. The two agreements were signed by senior Yemeni official and French ambassador to Yemen Joseph Silva.

In addition, France decided last week to respond to the United Nations Emergency Appeal for Yemen, by contributing €500,000 to the war-affected displaced Yemenis in the two northern provinces of Saada and Amran.

The 3rd Economic and Social Development Plan for Poverty Reduction (2006-2010) is the framework document for Yemen’s development policy. It is a foundation for the elaboration and implementation of the Framework Document for the France-Yemen Partnership (2007-2011).

Long-standing and encompassing a large number of areas, France’s cooperation is soundly-anchored in Yemen, where it contributes, alongside its institutional partners and civil society, to the country’s development, through its action in the following sectors: anti-poverty and economic and social mainstreaming for the vulnerable population; consolidation of the rule of law, security and the decentralisation process; know-how and knowledge transfer to priority sectors, such as university education and research, agriculture, vocational training and the development of future managers in the country; relationship- and exchange-building between partners from the two countries, in particular in favour of decentralised and non-governmental cooperation; promotion for cultural diversity and the cultures in Yemen (French Cultural Centre in Sana'a and its outpost in Aden).

The Framework Document for the Partnership between France and Yemen (2007-2011) proposes to build up action programmes from French aid toward high-priority sectors for the country.

As part of the cooperation initiatives funded by the TOTAL corporation in the regions where it operates, a collaborative effort could bring together CIRAD and the Embassy, around a project against insect pests on palm and date trees, and the creation of an observatory in the region of Hadramout (District of Saa).

Cooperation between France and Yemen in the academic and research fields is also long-standing. Its major avenues will be built up, more particularly university partnerships between the two countries and higher education for the future elite of Yemen, in France (support to fellowship programmes for teachers and students) and in Yemenite universities thanks to the development of high-priority scientific degree programmes for Yemen (support to inter-university agreements).

Scientific and research cooperation between the two countries is also dynamic in the social and human sciences sector, thanks to the actions developed by the French Centre for Archaeology and Social Sciences (CEFAS) in Sana'a and its many partners, both French (such as the National Centre for Scientific Research) or Yemenite (including the universities of Sana'a and Aden, the National Department of Antiquities, the National Archives Centre).

In 2006, the French Centre in Sana'a for Archaeology and Social Sciences (CEFAS) signed an agreement with the University of Sana'a to promote high-level cooperation in the fields of archaeological, historical, social science and humanities research.

Benefiting from exceptional material and immaterial cultural heritage, largely unused and increasingly jeopardised, Yemen wishes to promote its riches as a vehicle for cultural affirmation and social cohesion, carrying along with it opportunities to take up the challenges of job creation, openness to the world and economic development (tourism).