In an effort to support regional development and stability, Saudi Arabia has unveiled “crucial” development projects in Yemen’s Hadramawt province, with investments reaching up to 1.2 billion Saudi Riyals ($320 million), officials disclosed this Sunday.
This strategic move, as part of Saudi Arabia’s ongoing commitment to the reconstruction and economic recovery of its neighboring nation, comes in the context of Yemen’s protracted conflict and ensuing humanitarian crisis.
Mohammed Qaizan, Yemen’s Deputy Minister of Information, announced via a tweet that the Saudi Program for Development and Reconstruction in Yemen has inaugurated a series of vital developmental projects and programs in Hadhramaut.
The collective value of these projects exceeds 1.2 billion Saudi Riyals (approximately $320 million). Qaizan expressed his gratitude to Saudi Arabia, particularly recognizing the Saudi Ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed Al Jaber, and the program coordinators for their contribution, though he did not elaborate on the specifics of these projects.
This announcement coincides with the visit of Rashad Al-Alimi, the Head of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council, to Hadhramaut on Saturday, June 24, 2023. This visit marks his first since assuming his position in April 2022, and he was accompanied by a Saudi delegation.
The infusion of Saudi investment comes at a pivotal time when the Yemeni economy is grappling with severe ramifications owing to the cessation of oil exports from ports under the control of the government, a result of Houthi group assaults nearly eight months ago.
The Yemeni government has repeatedly declared that the halt in oil exports has led to losses exceeding $1 billion, and it has made urgent appeals to the international community for support to tackle its financial predicament.
Yemen has been in the throes of conflict for close to nine years, with government forces, supported by a Saudi-led Arab military coalition, battling Houthi forces, which are backed by Iran. The Houthi forces have been controlling several provinces and cities, including the capital city, Sanaa, since September 21, 2014.
However, a temporary lull has been observed in the conflict over the past few months, and the hopes for lasting peace in Yemen have been rekindled following the restoration of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Facilitated by China, this agreement, which was signed on March 10, brought an end to a seven-year diplomatic estrangement, thereby fostering renewed optimism for peace in Yemen.