Friday, February 25, 2011

Britain to double Yemen aid package तो 90m by 2015

Britain to double Yemen aid package तो 90m by 2015

Increased amount to provide better access to basic services but will be withheld if the country fails to reach targets

London- Feb 25, 2011- Britain is to double its aid to Yemen from 46.7m this year to 90m by 2015, as the government re-focuses its overseas development budget on failing states.

The increased aid, which will be at the heart of a review of Britain's bilateral aid budget announced next week, will be withheld if Yemen fails to meet a series of targets. These include making moves towards holding free and fair elections and promoting economic reform.

Ministers will say that the decision to increase aid to Yemen shows how the government is making greater efforts to focus Britain's development budget on failing states.

Andrew Mitchell, the international development secretary, will outline the increased aid next week, when he announces the results of the government's bilateral aid review. He has criticized Labor for spending money on relatively prosperous countries.

Britain has already announced that aid is to be reduced over time to India, which has a booming economy. Other countries seen to be in less need for aid include Serbia and Angola.

Mitchell will announce next week that aid to Yemen will focus on ensuring:

• 1.8 million people have better access to basic services such as health, water and education.

• 38,000 new jobs are created to help tackle poverty and social isolation. The aim is to ensure unemployed people are less vulnerable to being radicalised by Islamist fundamentalists.

• 55,000 more children are given a primary education.

A government source said: "The eyes of the world are on Yemen right now, and it's absolutely right that it's a major priority for British aid. Increasing British aid will help the country get to grips with the many challenges it currently faces, while also ensuring that it can move towards a more stable and prosperous future.

"But Yemen itself must also step up to the plate – it is impossible for the country to have a prosperous and sustainable future unless it is serious about root and branch political and economic reforms."

Another source said: "Yemen needs to build a state. It has to step up to the plate on terrorism."

Ministers believes that, as a failing state, Yemen presents a major threat to Britain as a training ground for Islamist terrorists. Britain does not hold the government in Sana'a responsible for deliberately providing a shelter for al-Qaida, although ministers believe it needs to do more to assert control.

In private, ministers are highly critical of President Saleh. They believe he should do more to promote political and economic reform and to tackle terrorism. Officials say the weaknesses of the state creates an environment that is "permissive of al-Qaida".

One official said: "The state is not strong enough. This creates a permissive environment. Where the state is not present the bad guys find space. The lack of economic opportunities feeds radicalization. The government could and should do more working with the international community in standing up to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula."

Officials point out that the Detroit bomber originated from Yemen. The cartridge bomb was originally sent from Yemen.

Mitchell is under pressure from Tories MPs to justify his relatively generous budget. Cameron pledged to ring fence Britain's aid budget after the Tories signed up to the UN target to spend 0.7% of GNI on aid by 2013.

Mitchell, who says that Britain should not tackle its fiscal deficit on the backs of the world's poor, nevertheless wants to show skeptical Tory MPs that the aid is being targeted on the needy.

Source: The Guardian

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