The Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak yesterday called on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states to hold an emergency conference to provide economic support to Yemen, and help the government deal with the country’s deteriorating economy.
“We are suffering from an economic catastrophe and a deterioration in the economic and social development indicators in Yemen,” the minister said at the 149th Ministerial Council session of the GCC held in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
The government has called and is still calling for a comprehensive ceasefire as the most important humanitarian step and for negotiations to be held in order to reach a comprehensive political solution.
“My country has become the first line of defence for the Arabian Peninsula’s southern gate, and it has paid and is still paying a heavy price … for defending Yemen Arabism and confronting the Iranian project,” he said.
The minister also asked for Yemeni expatriate workers to be prioritised in the GCC as they play a pivotal role in supporting the country’s economy.
Impoverished Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.
The war, in which the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) back the Saudi-led coalition, has claimed the lives of more than 233,000 Yemeni and left 80 per cent of the population – about 30 million people – dependent on aid to survive, according to UN data.