Yemeni PM Abdel Kader Bajammal says that his country needs $48 billion over a decade for upgrades in infrastructure, combating poverty and unemployment, and boosting education in order to catch up with oil-rich Gulf Arab economies.
Ministers from Yemen and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE discussed preparations for a Yemen donors' meeting slated for November 15 and 16 in London being held in cooperation with the World Bank in an effort to muster funds for development.
Yemeni planning and international cooperation minister Abdel Karim Al Arhabi was quoted last month as saying that Yemen would ask donors for $10 billion in aid over five years to help prepare it for GCC membership.
The only country in the Arabian Peninsula without direct access to the Gulf and its only republic, Yemen has for a decade been knocking at the GCC's door. The GCC partners, which forged their alliance in 1981, have been in no hurry to admit the poor country of some 20 million into their ranks. However, in December 2001, Yemen won GCC approval to join some of the bloc's councils - in the fields of education, social affairs, health, and sports.