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MENAFN - Arab News - 04/09/2012

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Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf receives Yemeni Prime Minister Mohammed Basindawa on arrival in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
(MENAFN - Arab News) The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has called on its six member states, the international community, and nongovernmental organizations to lend all support to Yemen on the occasion of the donor conference, which started yesterday in Riyadh.

The GCC's call was followed by an announcement made by the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which said it had finalized plans to open its representative office in Yemen to play an effective role in the country's development.

The GCC, as a bloc, calls on the international and regional donor countries and organizations to offer generous aid to Yemen at the donor event, read a press statement released by the GCC General Secretariat in Riyadh Sunday. The GCC ministerial council, which met in Jeddah the same day, also affirmed its full support for the donors' conference and called on nations and the international organizations to extend all help to Yemen for its development and reconstruction.

Referring to the opening of an OIC office in Yemen, another statement released by the OIC a day before the conference said that an OIC mission on a visit to Yemen signed an agreement with the Yemeni Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation to open an office in Sanaa to coordinate developmental efforts and humanitarian action programs. The agreement was signed by Mutahar Al-Abbasi, Yemeni deputy minister of international planning and cooperation, and Fouad Ali Al-Maznai, adviser at the Jeddah-based OIC.

Referring to the agenda of the donors' conference, a Gulf diplomat said it would mainly focus on collecting financial support for Yemen to make the country stronger and better prepared to face current economic challenges. "Yemen will be represented in the conference by a delegation headed by Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindawa, his Cabinet colleagues and several high-ranking officials," said the diplomat.

He pointed out that the donor conference is held as Yemen moves forward with a new president and government. Yesterday the World Bank warned of dangers threatening the future of Yemen unless the international community takes action and supports Yemen's economy. The country has been facing colossal social and economic challenges: More than half of its population lives on less than two dollars a day, according to a statement released by the bank ahead of the conference.

The number of malnourished children exceeds 50 percent, the second-highest malnourishment ratio in the world. Unemployment among youth exceeds 40 percent. The bank said the support of Yemen's economy is indispensable to complete the political process for the sake of a prosperous future.


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