Search

 

Cablegate: Second Post-Consultative Group Follow-Up Meeting

VZCZCXRO4585
RR RUEHDE RUEHDIR
DE RUEHYN #0256/01 0420956
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 110956Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY SANAA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8964
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0218
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 SANAA 000256

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

NEA/ARP FOR NATASHA FRANCESCHI AND ASHLEY BAGWELL,
USAID/ANE/MEA FOR JWOOD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AID EAGR EAID ECON EFIN ETRD GCC PREL YM
SUBJECT: SECOND POST-CONSULTATIVE GROUP FOLLOW-UP MEETING
HELD IN YEMEN

SANAA 00000256 001.2 OF 003


1. SUMMARY: Republic of Yemen Government (ROYG) officials,
Gulf Cooperation Council representatives (including the
Secretary General) and a large number of bilateral and

SIPDIS
multilateral donors gathered in Sana'a on February 4 to
discuss the status of the pledges allocated to Yemen and the
progress made by Yemen on economic development projects and
reforms since the November 2006 Consultative Group (CG)
meeting in London. The GCC Secretary General reported that
USD 3.7 billion in pledges (70 percent of the total) have
already been allocated to Yemen. The ROYG Ministry of
Planning and International Cooperation outlined progress made
on the National Reform Agenda and next steps which the ROYG
will pursue. During the meeting, donors called for a curb on
the rapid population growth, increased security on the
ground, more coordination between GCC and non-GCC donors, and
quick implementation of economic development projects. END
SUMMARY

SECOND POST-CG FOLLOW-UP MEETING HELD
-------------------------------------

2. The ROYG hosted the second Post-CG Follow-Up Meeting with
Donors on February 4 in Sana'a. Over one hundred ministers,
diplomats, NGO representatives and GCC and non-GCC donors
attended. (Note: In November 2006, GCC and non-GCC donors
pledged USD 4.7 billion to Yemen at a conference in London.
The ROYG and donors have met every six months since to
monitor progress in economic development and on the National
Reform Agenda. End note.) In addition to the two
aforementioned areas, participants in the second post-CG
meeting discussed the ROYG's Development Program for
2011-2015.

PROGRESS MADE ON NATIONAL REFORM AGENDA, BUT CHALLENGES REMAIN
--------------------------------------------- ----------

3. Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister
of Planning and International Cooperation (MOPIC) Abdul-Karim
al-Arhabi opened by stating that while Yemen's poverty rate
decreased from 42 percent in 1998 to 35 percent in 2006, real
economic growth declined to 3.2 percent in 2007, mainly due
to the decrease in oil and gas revenues. Al-Arhabi noted
that the ROYG is eager to implement several development
projects through the establishment of new implementing units
and the strengthening of existing ones. He told participants
that ROYG has undertaken a number of reforms, including
passage of the anti-corruption, public procurement and
financial disclosure laws and establishment of an 11-member
Supreme National Authority for Combating Corruption (SNACC).
He anticipated Yemen would join the Gulf Cooperation Council
by 2015. (Comment: Not all GCC members share his optimism.
End comment.)

4. The World Bank's Regional Vice President for Middle East
and North Africa, Daniela Gressani, emphasized that Yemen is
at a critical juncture and that the ROYG should focus on
implementation of its National Reform Agenda in order to
promote development and create an environment for investment
(Note: The National Reform Agenda concentrates on fighting
corruption, strengthening the independence of the judiciary,
reforming the economic and financial sectors, developing the
political system and modernizing the civil service system.
End note). She encouraged greater coordination between GCC
and non-GCC donors.

MAJORITY OF PLEDGES HONORED
---------------------------

5. GCC Secretary General Abdulrahman al-Atiyyeh expressed
his desire to strengthen relations with Yemen and to
integrate the Yemeni economy into the fabric of the GCC by
2015. He indicated that 70 percent of pledges (i.e. USD 3.7
billion) have already been allocated toward 25 projects in
Yemen. He praised progress achieved on the National Reform
Agenda since the last Post-CG Follow-up Meeting in June 2007,
but urged the ROYG to increase ROYG budgetary allocations
towards the National Reform Agenda, and to establish new
implementation units and strengthen existing ones.

6. Prime Minister Ali Mujawar praised the partnership
between donors and Yemen in order to overcome the country's
development challenges and highlighted serious steps
undertaken by ROYG to increase political participation.
Nevertheless, he added that Yemen still faces daunting
challenges with respect to high population growth, high

SANAA 00000256 002.2 OF 003


unemployment, increasing poverty, the scarcity of water and
lack of institutional capacity.

NEXT STEPS FOR YEMEN GOVERNMENT
-------------------------------

7. After the opening remarks session, the ROYG Director
General of Cooperation with Europe and the Americas at the
Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, Nabil
Shaiban, reported on progress made in the five target areas
of the National Reform Agenda and on the status of donors'
pledges. (Note: A complete copy of the ROYG's Report for the
Second Post-CG Follow-Up Meeting may be obtained from
NEA/ARP. End note.) He also told participants that the ROYG
plans to finalize the Public Investment Program (PIP) of
2007-2010, strengthen the capacity of the government,
establish a project tracking and reporting system, continue
the National Reform Agenda and establish a fast track
Parliamentary approval process for donor-financed economic
development projects.

8. A representative from the GCC Secretariat praised Yemen's
progress on the National Reform Agenda since June 2007, but
urged the ROYG to enhance the capacities of implementing
units, implement planned economic development projects and
improve coordination between GCC and non-GCC donors. A World
Bank representative stated that Yemen continues to face a
difficult economic situation and called for alignment of the
PIP with the Development Plan for Poverty Reduction and
Reform (DPPR). He offered World Bank technical assistance on
rapid implementation of National Reform Agenda and PIP
projects. The French DCM, representing the traditional
non-GCC donor community, warned that the deteriorating
security situation and high population growth undermines
economic development in Yemen and the ROYG's ability to meet
its Millennium Development Goals of poverty eradication by
2015. He encouraged progress toward democracy as a
precondition for stability and development.

DONORS CALL FOR GREATER GOVERNMENT ACTION
-----------------------------------------

9. Participants raised a number of issues during the open
discussion session. The German Ambassador, a UN
representative and the USAID Director expressed concern that
the ROYG was not doing enough to combat rapid population
growth, which was outstripping economic growth. Connected
with population growth is high inflation, which has raised
the prices of basic commodities by over 100 percent since
2006. The ROYG Minister of Industry and Trade, Yahya
al-Mutawakel, appealed to donors to help the ROYG confront
this problem, especially concerning wheat prices.

10. The British Ambassador best summed up the opinions of
many in the audience that "Yemen's challenges are real and
now. Time is of the essence. The ROYG needs to quickly
implement its economic development projects." Many believed
that the capacity of the ROYG needs to be improved and that
the Yemeni economy needs to be diversified away from the oil
and gas sector. The USAID Director underscored the problem
of security, especially in underserved governorates like
Mareb and al-Jawf, where implementers of health, education
and infrastructure projects were prevented from visiting
project sites or were hijacked in their vehicles by tribesmen.

11. The Deputy Minister of Education, Abdul-Karim
al-Jarbawi, complained that there was still a major gap in
ROYG investment expenditures for education. In this regard,
all donors called for better incorporation of the PIP and
DPPR in the ROYG national budget and for closer coordination
between the GCC and non-GCC donor communities. A European
Community official and Yemeni Women's Union Chair Ramzia
al-Iryani opined that involvement of civil society in reform
projects would be crucial. Women's National Committee Chair
Rashida al-Hamdani asked that more women be included in
capacity training and economic development project
implementation units.

COMMENT
-------

12. Many donors have commended the ROYG for progress made in
the National Reform Agenda. The fact that donors have
already given Yemen 70 percent of pledges promised in
November 2006 is a good sign of their commitment to Yemen.

SANAA 00000256 003.2 OF 003


However, in order to keep the donor community engaged, the
ROYG will need to rapidly implement its NRA, PIP, and DPPR
programs. Progress in these areas will ensure continued
foreign direct investment in the future. END COMMENT

SECHE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC