Arab Today, arab today \friends of yemen\ to focus on economy
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\'Friends of Yemen\' to focus on economy

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Arab Today, arab today \'Friends of Yemen\' to focus on economy

Riyadh - Arasbtoday

An emergency plan to relaunch its impoverished economy is to be presented to a \"Friends of Yemen\" forum of aid donors in Riyadh in April, the planning minister said Saturday. Yemen\'s interim transitional administration drew up \"an emergency plan to relaunch the economy\" and will submit it to the meeting, said Mohammed al-Saadi. The plan focuses on rebuilding the infrastructure in the poorest country in the Arabian Peninsula, namely electricity, roads, water and oil products, the official SABA news agency quoted Saadi as saying. \"I hope that the meeting of the \'Friends of Yemen\' which is due to be held in early April in Riyadh will be a turning point in relations between Yemen and participating countries,\" he said. The forum was set up at an international conference in London in January 2011 to help Sanaa combat a resurgent threat from Al-Qaeda, which claimed a botched December 2010 bid to blow up a US airliner. The Friends of Yemen groups world powers including the United States, European Union countries and the six energy-rich Gulf Cooperation Council monarchies. April\'s meeting will be the first since Yemen embarked on a transitional period after the election on February 21 of President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi to replace veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh. Hadi is to serve for an interim two-year period under a Gulf-brokered transition plan signed by Saleh last November after 10 months of protests demanding his ouster. The new president has cautioned the turmoil that has crippled the economy and unleashed nationwide insecurity was not yet over. He also vowed to fight Al-Qaeda and restore security across Yemen, which is weakened by a Shiite rebellion in the north and a secessionist movement in the south. In September, the head of the Yemeni Centre for Strategic Studies, Mohammed Afandi, said that the county\'s already-weak economy worsened has been hit hard by last year\'s political crisis. About 60% of Yemen\'s 24 million population are living below the poverty line on an income of less than $1 a day while inflation has shot up to more than 35 percent, Afandi said. \"If the crisis persists, there will be economic collapse. There will be famine, particularly in rural areas, and this will lead to a humanitarian catastrophe,\" he said.

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