Marib Governorate…New projects launched [Archives:2003/633/Local News]

April 27 2003

Mohammed bin Sallam
The US Ambassador to Yemen Edmund Hull held a press conference at Balqees Hotel in Marib on April 20 in which he reviewed the American assistance being offered to the Yemeni people at the present time. Mr. Hull also explained that his country would offer a $ 20 million-worth aid for the implementation of some agricultural, health, and educational projects in a number of governorates, more than $ 7million of which would be allocated to Marib for building development projects.
He said that the US specialized sides would in future draw up studies for implementation of a number of projects particularly in the field of marketing agricultural products. The plan also includes building a museum for antiques in Marib governorate and a training institute for qualifying a cadre in order to maintain Marib's rich asset of antiquities.
At the health level, Mr. Hull indicated that his country had allotted $ 5.3 million to furnish and equip the New Presidential Hospital in Marib. Around 157 students from Marib are given three-year training on nursing and operating medical equipment at a number of medical centers in Yemen, 58 trainees of who are in Sana'a.
It is to be mentioned that the 200-bed Presidential Hospital in Marib, expected to be officially inaugurated at the end of 2003, is built at a cost of more than YR 500 million funded by the oil companies operating in the governorate in compensation of the citizens for detrimental environmental damage caused by the burning of oil and gas in their governorate.
On the Yemeni-US security cooperation, the US ambassador said we believe Yemen was able individually to shoulder its security responsibility and that tangible results have been indeed felt by the American side. He pointed out that the US offers Yemen assistance in the training and qualifying the Special Forces and security in addition to the two countries information- exchange cooperation. The two countries also work jointly in a comprehensive program for securing protection to Yemeni sea ports and coasts.
As for the US interest in Marib governorate in particular, Mr. Hull said that after his coming to Yemen a year and a half ago he had become convinced of the relationship between development and security and that there could not be a development without security and no security without development. He added for that reason he had focused on development especially in the more deprived areas such as Marib, al-Jawf, and Shabwa in order to maintain security in them. He said he had discussed that with President Ali Abdulla Saleh and they both agreed to work for the development of the deprived areas that suffer much from lack of development. On the escape of the 10 prisoners, the US ambassador pointed out that the main suspects of the USS Cole explosion are three and the other 7 are al-Qaeda suspects, hoping that they would be brought to court to be tried and judged.
Terrorism, according to the US ambassador has caused a lot of damage for Yemen, particularly economically and politically.
On his part, Mr. Abdullah Ali Annasi the governor of Marib acquainted the ambassador with the difficulties faced in the governorate such as its lacking of a factory for canning agricultural products and absence of investments in exporting marble of Marib.
An agreement on establishment of a $ 100.000 worth agricultural experimental project was signed on the same day by Marib governor and the ambassador as part of the US Development projects program. The project includes application of modern agricultural irrigation systems such as sprinkler irrigation system and growing of good revenue-yielding crops by using green houses. The project also includes providing the regional station for research with required electric power to operate green houses.
The US ambassador also toured a number of tourist and historical sites accompanied by Director of Projects and Development Saeed Abduh Ahmed, Agriculture Ministry representative, and the US development project coordinator. The ambassador had also got acquainted with the Marib Dam and listened to drop in its water level due to rainfall shortage.
In conclusion of his tour of Marib, the ambassador visited the Agricultural Research Station and got acquainted with its role in conducting agricultural research and development and improvement of seeds, promising to offer help in this field.