UAE aid helps restore Yemen to its ‘full potential’

ABU DHABI, Extending to all governorates within Yemen, UAE humanitarian aid efforts have a single objective; to restore the country to its full potential.

Since April 2015, the UAE has worked on food aid programmes, the building and refurbishment of schools, restoring hospitals and supporting Yemen’s health care sector, rehabilitating utility facilities, including power plants, redeveloping the roads infrastructure, and providing local police with training. In these three and a half years, UAE assistance to Yemen has amounted to US$4.91 billion, reaching over 17 million Yemenis, including 11 million children and 3.2 million women.

In 2017, funds were also provided to the United Nations and other international organisations such as the World Health Organisation, the World Food Programme, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The vast majority of aid distributed through the UN plan has been directed to northern governorates such as Sana’a, Taiz, Hodeidah and other northern provinces, in accordance with the policies and priorities of these organisations.

Assistance to Yemen amounted to US$2.13 billion in 2018 alone, from which US$500 million was allocated to support the UN Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen, marking the UAE the second largest donor, following Saudi Arabia. This year, the UAE has also ranked first in the world in terms of emergency humanitarian direct assistance to the Yemeni people.

Infrastructure Development Rehabilitating the country’s basic infrastructure such as airports in Aden, Al Rayyan and Socotra, as well as seaports in Aden, Mukalla and Socotra, has been a priority in the UAE’s aid policy to Yemen. The aid has also been used for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of 230 schools and the rebuilding and maintenance of 55 hospitals and medical centres.

In terms of power supplies, seventeen power plants have been constructed, rebuilt and maintained, including a US$100 million 750-megawatt power plant in Aden, to help to meet the country’s electricity deficit. Efforts to improve the supply of safe drinking water, a key to the prevention of the spreading of diseases like cholera, have included the refurbishment of ten water plants and networks with 80 pumps and four sewerage treatment plants. 250 freshwater dams and wells have been built or dug, along with 23 water stations and reservoirs.

In Hodeidah governorate, an additional US$30 million has been allocated for refurbishment and repair of the infrastructure in liberated areas, including work on ports to allow fishermen to resume their activities, with consequent benefits both on employment and on the availability of fresh fish in the markets. The first port to resume operations, earlier this year, was that of Al Khokha.

Health and Community Development The UAE aid in Yemen has also seen a focus on developing a healthy, cohesive, and stable environment, with the vital health, community development and education sectors receiving major attention.

In the Hadramaut, the UAE has invested US$80 million to refurbish power stations with US$ 20 million being spent on the refurbishment of medical centres and clinics. 75 ambulances have been provided, while 488,000 children have received polio and measles vaccinations as part of a preventive medicine campaign.

In Hodeidah Governorate, mobile medical clinics have been established, providing treatment for respiratory illnesses, high blood pressure, acute malnutrition, dengue fever and prenatal care, for thousands of Yemeni civilians.

As for community development, more than 500 police vehicles have been provided to support security institutions and 38 police stations have been rehabilitated, while 70 buses have been donated to support the education sector.

Also in terms of support for education, the UAE, in partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has donated US$70 million to support Yemeni teachers through UNICEF. Of the $35 million donated by the UAE, salaries for 135,000 teachers are being covered for a ten-month period, as part of existing UAE aid to Yemen projects. In Yemen’s Red Sea Coast region, 14 schools have received educational materials as well as solar powered panels, to ensure a continued supply of energy, to avoid any disruption to the school year.

Food Aid to Yemen The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has established partnerships with various local, regional and international bodies to support food aid programmes in Yemen.

In collaboration with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the UAE has contributed US$5 million to the ‘Food for Thought School Feeding Programme in Yemen’, being implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP). This programme supports school children exposed to protracted instability and the consequences of conflict by promoting educational and nutritional outcomes that ensure their protection and continued access to education.

From 20th June to 6th December 2018 alone, the UAE has provided food aid to Hodeidah Governorate amounting to $321.5 million. This included over 110,000 food aid parcels that were delivered across the governorate’s 55 districts and remote areas, benefiting some 770,000 individuals. A chain of bakeries has also been established during 2018, with the first four bakers being built in Al Khokha, to provide Yemenis with bread, free of cost.

According to the latest UN figures, an estimated 17.8 million Yemenis are food-insecure, 8.4 million of whom are severely food-insecure and at risk of starvation. In response to these staggering figures, the UAE and Saudi Arabia launched the ‘Imdaad’ campaign in November 2018, pledging an additional US$500 million to combat famine in Yemen.

Imdaad aims to provide the necessary food to 10-12 million Yemenis, including two million children, including basic food items, especially wheat, sufficient for four months. The campaign will cover all regions of Yemen, regardless of political or geographical considerations, reaching all of Yemen’s citizens in need, with priority given to the most vulnerable, predominantly malnourished children aged under five and school-aged children, pregnant women, nursing mothers, the elderly and the ill.

The UAE continues to be committed to the alleviation of the hardships faced by Yemeni citizens and will stand side-by-side with the country and its people, so as to help in the restoration of its safety, stability and economic prosperity.

Source: Emirates News Agency