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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Yemen gets fresh $2.3bn loan
A mirror seller in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa
Yemen's troubles reflect regional uncertainty
Yemen has won a $2.3bn loan from the World Bank and a long list of donors to help it support a three-year anti-poverty campaign - and by extension, fight the causes of terror and insecurity.

The announcement of the money followed a meeting in Paris to report on the country's development plans, and comes two weeks after an explosion on a French tanker off Yemen which many believe was a terrorist attack.

The French tanker Limburg, which may have been attacked by al-Qaeda
The Limburg explosion has harmed Yemen's image

The new money will partly help redress what Yemen sees as an imbalance in aid.

Despite deep-seated problems, and a per capita income of just $450 a year, Yemen said it received only a fifth of the average support for low income countries.

Wanted: stability

The poverty many Yemenis face is inextricably linked with security, Prime Minister Abdulkader Ba Jamal said.

"Yemen must eradicate the seeds of poverty," he told the two-day meeting.

"Terrorism strikes everywhere... these crimes must be faced, and Yemen needs development to face them."

Yemen suffered more than anyone from terrorism committed in its territory, he added.

World Bank vice-president Jean-Louis Sarbib agreed, saying that many of Yemen's problems were external ones.

"Yemen is on the front line against terrorism," he said.

Events such as the attack on the French tanker "limit private investment and tourism", he added.

Volatility

Yemen's main source of revenue is its oil, and volatility in crude prices has disrupted attempts to improve the lot of its citizens.

Until 1990 the country was split in two, and reunification was not completed until after a civil war in 1994.

The attack by an al-Qaeda cell on a US Navy ship, the USS Cole, in 2000 worsened the already cautious climate for inward investment.

A meeting on Friday in Paris with business leaders is intended to help improve the investment climate.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Richard Forrest
"Abdulkader Ba Jamal insists money all ready given by Arab countries and the US isn't enough"
See also:

09 Oct 02 | Business
06 Oct 02 | Middle East
04 Oct 02 | Business
21 Sep 02 | Middle East
09 Sep 02 | Business
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