“I am so proud to be part of this campaign #BringDevback in Yemen, it’s an important message. It means ending the war, it means thinking about the future, it means hope and jobs for young people,” Wesam Qaid, executive director at Sanaa-based economic development organisation SMEPS, told Al Jazeera.
“And it means getting the country moving again in the right direction.”
The campaign, launched last week, shows that locals feel that humanitarian aid is not an adequate response for Yemen, amid the on-going civil conflict. Yemenis feel that they need infrastructural development, to ensure basic needs are met such as jobs and education.
— عبد الله صالح باعبيد (@asbaobaid) February 28, 2018
— SMEPS (@SMEPSYEMEN) February 27, 2018
The campaign continues to be used on social media, attracting daily tweets on what development means to Yemenis and local business.
Yemenis are posed with malnutrition with nearly one million cases of cholera across the country since the Houthi group took over the capital Sana’a in 2014. Internationally recognised President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi requested the Saudi-led coalition to militarily assist with the territorial threat pose by the Houthis in March 2015. The conflict continues, with a forthcoming peace talks to be hosted by Oman later this year.
Yesterday, a British Member of Parliament called out Saudi Arabia’s aid plan for Yemen a public relations stunt, labelling it a “cynical exercise”. Early this year, Saudi Arabia set up a £3.5 billion “Yemen Comprehensive Humanitarian Operations” aid plan. It came after the Kingdom came under international criticism over its military assault on Yemen which had triggered devastating humanitarian impact for civilians.