November. 6-9, 2009. The World Bank regional Vice President, Shamshad Akhtar is on 3-day visit to Yemen from 6 to 9 November, 2009. Her agenda included field visits to the on-going World Bank funded projects in some Yemeni Governorates and meeting with high ranking Yemeni officials.
In her meeting with the government, Akhtar highlighted key joint issues like the progress made by the government with regards to the reforms agenda, encouraging the collaboration between Yemen and GCC and other development partners, restating support to the Government in its plans to strengthen its focus on equity and social issues and future support that the World Bank group can offer to the Yemeni Government.
While acknowledging prevailing political and security concerns, Akhtar encouraged the Government to maintain its reform efforts with a particular focus on: (i) effectively containing fiscal deficit by reducing public expenditure on salaries and oil subsidies; (ii) enhancing the business environment; and (iii) improving governance.
In a statement to the Saba news agency, the Vice President said that “Yemen is befitting from the International Development Agency (IDA) which is providing soft loans and grants and confirmed that she would work to raise the lending capacity for Yemen from currently a 120 million to 200 million a year”.
Akhtar has also met with Civil Society Organizations CSOs including Parliamentarians, Academia, Yemeni NGOS as well as development partners, private sector and the media. Ms. Akhtar was accompanied by the Mr. David Craig, the new country director for Egypt, Djibouti and Yemen.