RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 14, 2019: A delegation from the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) held meetings with development agencies, research institutions and educational organizations in Washington, D.C., to discuss several SDRPY projects being implemented in Yemen.
Director of Projects and Studies in the Program, Eng. Hassan Al-Attas, led SDRPY's team in wide-ranging discussions of the development projects to several international agencies, highlighting potential areas of collaboration.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was represented by Rob Jenkins, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, and Jason Foley, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Middle East.
The two sides discussed means of enhancing joint cooperation and the role and importance of development and reconstruction in Yemen.
The Yemeni Ambassador to the U.S. Dr. Ahmed bin Mubarak met with the group to discuss strengthening the relationship between the program and the embassy through future collaboration on development projects implemented across vital sectors.
Meetings with World Bank officials operating in the Middle East and North Africa region focused on exploring the possibility of conducting joint initiatives with organizations already on the ground. Separate meetings with the Middle East Institute's President Dr. Paul Salem, Senior Vice President Gerald Feierstein and scholar Allen Keiswetter focused on Yemen's progress towards UN Sustainable Development Goals. Meanwhile, discussions with the Atlantic Council's Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative Director Kirsten Fontenrose, Distinguished Fellow Franklin D. Kramer, and William Wechsler, Director of the Rafik Hariri Center & Middle East Programs investigated means of balancing short-term needs while transitioning toward the achievement of long-term stabilization and sustainability. Still other meetings with the National Council on US Arab Relations (NCUSAR) President Dr. John Duke Anthony, Senior Vice President Mr. Pat Mancino and Board Members Abbas Al-Dahouk and John Pratt explored other avenues of joint collaboration.
SDRPY is a Saudi program designed to implement a range of development projects across Yemen in partnership with the legitimate government to improve citizens' access to services in vital sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, health, education, electricity, transportation and water. With over 70 projects underway, SDRPY is building and restoring critical infrastructure, increasing job opportunities, improving standards of living, empowering Yemenis, and ultimately paving the way toward peace and prosperity in Yemen.