With the fate of an entire nation riding on the Friends of Yemen Conference, Yemeni officials, among whom, Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, have been keen to underscore the role of the international community in enabling the poorest nation in the Arabian Peninsula to successfully complete its transition of power and economic stabilisation.
The FM told reporters earlier this week, “To stabilise the political situation people need to see the standards of living, jobs and the services they lack … The Friends of Yemen need to prioritise so we can use the funds that are available wisely.”
At the conference, Yemen’s foreign partners are expected to endorse and pledge to finance an ambitious economic, political and military restructuration program, which once completed would introduce Yemen as a potent political and economic partner within the global arena.
A statement issues earlier today by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office confirmed that “the meeting, co-chaired by three countries, will be held at the level of foreign ministers,” adding that UK Foreign Secretary William Hague will personally kick off the conference.
“It [the conference] will then be jointly chaired by UK Minister for the Middle East Hugh Robertson, International Development Minister Alan Duncan, Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic and Cultural Affairs Yusuf Al-Sadoun and Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi,” said the statement.
“We need more development, improved security, better economic growth,” he said. “We have about $8b allocated from donors so far only about 25% of it has been spent. We have to work harder on better implementation,” noted al-Qirbi before the conference, highlighting Yemen’s biggest challenge.