“We welcome the new Friends of Yemen structure,” said Inger Andersen, World Bank Regional Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, at the conclusion of the Friends of Yemen Conference meeting this Wednesday.
She added, “The people of Yemen deserve coordinated, reliable and impactful support from the international community. In parallel, strong leadership in Yemen to deliver on the agreed refocus will be critical to generate growth and opportunity for the people of Yemen.”
Following much anticipation and calls for support from dignitaries and officials in Yemen, the seventh ministerial level meeting of the Friends of Yemen ended with the endorsement of a new structure designed to align funding and aid packages with the priorities defined by NDC representatives (National Dialogue Conference).
To ensure that funding and resources will be appropriately allocated, three working groups, each charged with overviewing a particular set of issues will now function under the patronage of members of the Friends of Yemen The World Bank Group agreed to co-chair with the Government of Yemen the Economic Working Group of the Friends of Yemen.
The Economic Working group will from now on monitor Yemen’s progress as well as overview the disbursement of funds in accordance with a re-determined timetable. Yemen’s partners called on the government to comply with recommendations to see fiscal reforms implemented in order to shore up the country’s widening fiscal deficit.
Moreover, in keeping with the IMF’s recommendations in relation to Yemen’s oil subsidies policy, the Friends of Yemen urged the Yemeni government to improve its “business environment”, by “addressing the economic burden of fuel subsidies and the removal of ghost workers and double dippers from the public payroll.”