The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have pledged to grant Yemen $1.8 billion to help shore up its economy, a newspaper reported Friday, November 30.
The IMF and World Bank have earmarked the aid to finance development projects in the country, said the weekly September 26, quoting Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Ghaleb. The assistance was announced during Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's visit to Washington this week, the paper said.
Yemen has adopted a number of austerity measures in recent years in a bid to cut public spending and improve the economy. Since 1995, Sanaa has been applying a program prescribed by the IMF and World Bank to cut subsidies and to privatize state industries.
Yemeni Planning and Development Minister Ahmad Mohammad Sufan told AFP in mid-October that Yemen, already one of the poorest countries in the world, had been badly hit by the fallout of the September 11 attacks on the United States.
"The most notable negative impact of these terrorist acts was on the oil sector," Sufan said. He said the drop in the price of crude oil from $28 to $20 a barrel "will affect our oil revenue, which represents 90 percent of the country's total revenue."
Yemen produces 480,000 barrels per day, and oil revenue last year jumped 40 percent to $1.4 billion. Sufan also said the attacks had "negative effects on tourism," estimating the losses by then at around $90 million. He said remittances by the 100,000 Yemeni citizens living in the United States and Britain had dried up, also affecting the country's economy. — (AFP, Sanaa)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )