The Strategist

World Bank suspends operations in Yemen

03/13/2015 - 04:29

According to the international agency, a review of the impact of recent political developments in the country has exposed the risk on its bank programs, thus culling the operations temporarily in the country. The suspension is for all projects financed by the International Development Association (IDA). The IDA is World Bank’s specific arm for the world’s poorest countries.

The review started in early February has concluded that country’s security has reduced to such an extent that the bank would be unable to exercise effective management over its projects. According to the report, bank authorities were not able to communicate and coordinate their projects with government officials and their project locations have become inaccessible.

Even while suspending the operations, the World Bank has noted that it would continue to support Yemen in manners possible. It will also monitor the situation in the country carefully and lift the suspension whenever deemed fit. Though the report was unveiled recently the Sana’a office of the World Bank remains closed from February 18 onwards similar to many of the western embassies. The suspension has been communicated to the country officials as well.

The recent power grab by Houthi rebels is considered as the main instigator for this swift measure by the World Bank. Yemen is the Arab world’s most poor country and is looking at deep unrest with the power struggle continuing in its capital. Many embassies including that of Saudi Arabia have been moved to Aden from Sana'a. Saudi Arabia has also condemned the rebel group, calling the power grab a coup against a legal government in the country, while also withdrawing all economic lifelines to Yemen.