The United States has a strong and growing partnership with Yemen. We are supporting the Yemeni government and people with a comprehensive strategy to promote the political, economic, and security sector reforms underpinning the country’s Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-brokered political transition initiative. Our aid is also focused on partnering with the Yemeni government to meet the critical needs of its citizens. The people of Yemen are creating a new political reality, including through the successful conclusion of the historic National Dialogue, with a government that is increasingly responsive, accountable, and capable of addressing urgent needs and building a solid foundation for the country’s long-term development, growth, security, and stability. Since the beginning of Yemen’s transition in November 2011, U.S. assistance to Yemen has totaled well over $630 million. The United States remains committed to continuing to support the Yemeni people throughout the transition process and beyond.
The people of Yemen have taken significant steps toward meaningful reform through the country’s ongoing political transition process. As envisioned in the GCC Initiative, Yemen completed a National Dialogue Conference, an inclusive discussion of fundamental questions about the structure of the state and reform of the political system. The outcomes from this conference will guide decisions on amending the constitution, the next step toward concluding the transition with national elections. In coordination with the international community, the United States is providing over $40 million to support Yemen’s key transition benchmarks: the recently completed National Dialogue, constitutional reform, and elections. A key focus of this aid is supporting the efforts of Yemeni women and youth to ensure their voices and perspectives contribute to Yemen’s transition. Building on the success of the National Dialogue, the United States remains firmly committed to supporting Yemen as it continue to achieve meaningful reform, including through:
While Yemen tackles issues of fundamental political reform, it continues to cope with serious economic and social challenges affecting the everyday lives of all Yemenis. Greater investment in the economic and social wellbeing of the Yemeni people, as well as immediate relief for their urgent humanitarian needs, will help realize the transition’s full potential. The United States provided nearly $251 million in humanitarian assistance in FY 2012 and FY 2013 to help address the needs of the most vulnerable populations in Yemen, in coordination with the United Nations Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan and other humanitarian actors. This includes food and nutrition assistance, access to clean water, and health care, including immunizations and disease prevention, among other types of assistance. The United States remains committed to helping the most vulnerable in Yemen.
We are also helping to advance Yemeni government efforts in the areas of economic growth and development. U.S. programs help create economic opportunities for the Yemeni people, assist the Yemeni government in its efforts to improve the delivery of social services, and promote the institutional and policy reforms that will set Yemen on a more sustainable path. We have allocated more than $100 million in FY 2012 and FY 2013 for these endeavors, and remain committed to supporting economic growth and development going forward. The United States supports efforts to create private sector economic opportunities to facilitate inclusive growth, while helping the government to improve human services and transparent administration of public funds. Examples include:
Yemen’s security and stability will also provide a foundation for meaningful reform. The United States allocated approximately $247 million in FY 2012 and FY 2013 to build the counterterrorism capacity of Yemeni security forces, as well as to strengthen civilian law enforcement and judicial institutions. In coordination with the international community, we are also actively supporting Yemen’s security sector reorganization. The United States plans to continue engagement in these areas in FY 2014.
Building stronger bonds between the people of Yemen and the United States is vital to our long-term partnership. Educational exchanges and professional development play a key role in this. We have brought Yemeni leaders from a variety of fields to the United States to study topics such as women and youth leadership, interfaith dialogue, university administration, disability rights, water resource management, and small business development. We hosted a Yemeni trade delegation that explored business opportunities in alternative energy and water, and we facilitated Yemen’s participation in a coffee trade show to help rehabilitate Yemen’s historic coffee industry. We supported the launch of the Civil Strengthening Network, a platform for Yemen’s civil society sector to work collectively with government entities to increase public participation during the transition. When Yemen was hit with torrential rains, we provided funds to help repair flood damage. To expand our educational and cultural outreach in the south, we inaugurated an American Corner in Aden, and plan to open additional American Corners in other Yemeni cities.