In an effort to boost the economy and help people in need, Yemen is focused on critical infrastructure upgrades. To that end, the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) launched a comprehensive program to improve the infrastructure across several key sectors. Other countries and nonprofit organizations have also initiated plans to support the infrastructure in Yemen.
SDRPY Development in Aden
Originally launched by King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Saud, SDRPY has provided economic aid to Yemen and completed nearly 200 infrastructure and development projects that have benefitted 6 million citizens since its inception. In September 2020, it announced the launch of a development package that includes 13 key projects supporting health, education, sports, water, and transportation, among other sectors.
As part of its efforts to improve access to clean water for the citizens of Yemen, SDRPY is expanding the Manasrah water field. This includes the rehabilitation of 10 wells and the construction of five new ones. A total of 1.5 million people in and around the city of Aden will benefit from the project once it is complete, increasing its water productivity by 10 percent. The rehabilitated wells will be fitted for submersible pumps and will produce 891 kW of electrical energy through the installation of 1,350 solar panels. The project site will also include the construction of warehouses, offices, and fencing.
The development package also includes the construction of four new schools in Yemen that will serve in excess of 5,000 students. Classrooms, scientific laboratories, administrative offices, and sports stadiums will also be built. The SDRPY program, which encompasses more than a dozen kilometers of roadway in Yemen, will fund the expansion of Aden General Hospital, which includes the construction of a cardiology center.
SDRPY Expansion of Aden International Airport
SDRPY is also overseeing the rehabilitation and modernization of the Aden International Airport. In January 2020, the three-phase project broke ground. The first phase of the project, which focuses on the redesign of external roads and gates, will encompass the delivery of passenger transport buses by the SDRPY. The second phase of the project will involve the construction of service systems such as telecommunications and air traffic control. The runway, gates, and connecting tunnels will also be enhanced. The third and final phase of the project will aim to ensure that International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards align with all airport operations and facilities.
Emirates Red Crescent Plans to Restore Blood Bank
The expansion of Aden General Hospital is not the only ongoing medical infrastructure project in Yemen. Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) is also seeking to enhance health care in the Middle East nation by restoring Ibn Sina Hospital’s blood bank. The final phase of the project was inaugurated in October 2020. ERC is the United Arab Emirates (UAE) affiliate of the International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies and carries out international humanitarian work.
The last phase of the project involves ERC supplying the blood bank with new equipment and medical supplies. Previously, construction was undertaken to restore the blood bank, which will benefit approximately 3 million people. ERC is also restoring eight other hospitals and medical facilities in Yemen through funding from the UAE.
UK Charity Muslim Hands Funding Key Projects
Support for Yemen extends beyond the borders of the Middle East. The UK charity Muslim Hands pledged this past June to donate nearly $1.3 million over a six-month period to support food relief efforts and various infrastructure projects. In regards to food relief, Muslim Hands will contribute to the funding of a bread factory and facilitate the implementation of a school feeding program that will serve breakfast to 2,000 students per day.
Building upon the clean water project initiated by the SDRPY, Muslim Hands will also construct a water well in the Radfan district’s Al-Habilain area. This will benefit approximately 50,000 people. The nonprofit also intends to restore Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) facilities in various camps and remote villages throughout Yemen. Moreover, it will also provide medical equipment to hospitals and mobile clinics. This work is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Muslim Hands’ fundraising director, Yasrab Shah, stated in a press release, “With an already blighted heath system, shortage of aid, and now funding cuts … it is our responsibility to ensure that the people of Yemen receive the support they urgently require in their greatest time of need.”