Now financing 40 projectsEU is a steady support in Yemen [Archives:2004/714/Business & Economy]

February 23 2004

Yemeni-European relations continue to move towards cooperation in trade and economic interests. In fact, the countries of the European Union are considered the most important partners of development in Yemen.
The EU is presently financing around 40 projects and programs of development in Yemen including areas of economic, and food security, development projects, support for non-governmental organizations, and help to the government in its national strategy for fighting poverty.
Among the projects financed by the European Union is the EUR 7 million worth project of enhancing priorities of vocational training in Yemen, which is about to be finished.
The EU also is funding an irrigation project, now under construction in Tuhama at a cost of EUR 7.3 million, and another project for qualification of waters infrastructure at a cost of EUR 6.6 million, expected to be finished at the end of next year.
The European High Commission has defined the areas of cooperation and support for Yemen within the frame of bilateral partnership during the years 2002-2004 at an amount ranging between EUR 61 to EUR 70 million, distributed on the sector of health and population, projects of the Social Fund for Development, development of economic institutions and the program of supporting democracy and human rights.

Assistance & grants
In translation and implementation of these special relations between Yemen and the European Union, the total amount of grants and assistance offered by the European Union to Yemen during the period 1998 to 2001 was about EUR 134 million, that included the fields of fish wealth with EUR 17 million, waters and sewage EUR 7 million, food security EUR 45 million, human development EUR 25 million, education EUR 2.5 million, and the local governance EUR 7 million, totaling EUR 133.5 million.
The total value of undertakings offered to Yemen by the European Union and the European Community during the years 1997-2001 amounted to EUR 237.5 million. Moreover, the Yemeni-European relations are witnessing steady development and tangible growth in the area of trade exchange.
Since the year 1990 the European Union has been assisting Yemen government in the preparation of a food security strategy that has included the assistance of productive families, supporting agricultural production, upgrading efficiency of the use of waters and diversifying exports.
The EU has allocated an amount of 11 million euros for the support of food security program during the current year 2004 and the year 2005. The EU had in the period 2001-2002 had offered EUR 23 million and EUR 34 million in the period 1996-1998 for the same purposes.

In the health field
The EU has earmarked EUR 15 million for the three coming years to finance small health projects, in addition to supporting activities of non-governmental organisations in this field.
In 2001 the European Commission offered to Yemen 7.6 million euros to support a project for reforming the health sector. The project is presently under implementation and expected to be finished in 2005. The project aims at development of health services in the districts, evolvement of information system at the central level and the sector of health services at the districts and provinces capitals.

Precepts of partnership
The Yemeni-European cooperation proceeds from strategic bases essentially concentrated from the EU vision of the democratic and social movement at the Yemeni political arena and respect to democracy, human rights, political multiparty system, and involvement of the people in the parliamentary and presidential elections and administration of the local authority.
Since 22 May 1990, then Yemeni-European relations have witnessed steady and progressive growth after Yemen has inaugurated a new stage of institutional structure, financial and administrative reform, and the economic and political build up. That had created an impression at the European Union that has given it attention to supporting the emerging democratic experiment in Yemen.
The European support was culminated with signing a cooperation agreement between the two parties on 25 October 1997 at the building of the Ministerial Council of the Union in Brussels.
The agreement had laid new foundations for bilateral cooperation in economic, trade and human development areas. The visit of President Ali Abdullah Saleh to the European Union headquarters in 2000 resulted in outcomes enhancing development process of the Yemeni European relations through granting Yemen membership to the Barcelona mechanism for cooperation between Yemen and the European countries in various fields.
Finally it can be ascertained that the Yemeni European relations have entered an effective and developed stage of partnership allowing the opening of spacious horizons for stabilization bilateral relations and expanding them in a manner helping the laying of pillars of better future joint cooperation.