Yemen reconstruction ‘will cost $15 bln’

Reconstruction of war-torn Yemen could cost $15 billion, a cabinet minister said on Tuesday, citing a multilateral institution.

“The World Bank estimates... $15 billion,” Abdulraqeb Saif Fateh, Yemen’s minister of local administration, told AFP on the sidelines of a workshop on Yemen’s post-war recovery.

He gave no details of what exactly the figure would cover but the war has left Yemenis suffering from shortages of food, water, sanitation and healthcare.

Fateh, who is also chairman of Yemen’s High Relief Committee, spoke near the close of a two-day workshop on “post-conflict recovery and reconstruction” in Yemen.

The workshop was attended by international donors and organised by Yemen’s government and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The six-member GCC in December pledged a global conference on the reconstruction of Yemen after a political solution to the war is reached.

Yemen was already the Arab world’s poorest country before March last year when a Saudi-led Arab coalition began air raids and later sent in ground forces to support its internationally recognized government.

The coalition intervened after Iran-backed Houthi militias and their allies overran much of the country.

Violence has intensified since United Nations-brokered peace talks in Kuwait were suspended in early August.

Analysts expect no quick end to the war, despite the announcement last week by US Secretary of State John Kerry of a new peace initiative.

Fateh told reporters that it is “not easy to regain the trust” of donors after what has happened but the government pledges transparent and accountable programs.