The Netherlands Poised to Be Yemen’s [Archives:1997/49/Front Page]
Largest Aid Partner for 1997
The Netherlands Government has already disbursed some 100 million Dutch guilders in 1997, making it, so far, Yemen’s largest aid partner. “And this amount does not include generous Netherlands contributions to Yemen through multilateral organizations such as the UNDP, UNFPA, UNESCO, etc.,” stated Mr. A. J. Meerburg, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Sanaa. This would make it the largest aid partner of the year.
Although most of the bilateral aid program involves large projects, the Dutch also offer small-scale assistance. On December 2, the ambassador signed a grant agreement of $38,000 to renovate Bait Jarhoum, a 500-year building in Shibam, Hadhramaut. “Another small program involves US$ 5 million over 5 years to support the national museum,” said Ms. D. Koekkoek, 1st Secretary at the embassy. The team for the executing agency for this last project arrived in Sanaa yesterday, December 7th. In February, the Dutch embassy will organize a workshop, around which contests will be built. “We will see who has the best cow, or the highest output per hectare, or the best quality product, etc. The idea is to create incentives for the farmers to excel in their work,” explained Ms. Koekkoek. At another level, Mr. Henri Hubert Driesser, Head of the Gulf Division (includes Yemen) at the Foreign Ministry of the Dutch Government concluded a fact-finding mission to Yemen last week. He met with several government officials and public figures to discuss Yemen’s economic policies and how Dutch aid can fit into it. “I want to know the general strategy of the economic policies, and how Yemenis see them.” He was also interested in various vulnerable groups and the role of women in the development process.