More short-sightedness from Western authorities: “West to boost aid to Yemen in face of al-Qa’ida threat,” by Anne Penketh in the Belfast Telegraph, :
President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen has undergone quite a transformation since Saddam Hussein presented him with a gold-plated AK-47 for his support in the first Gulf War.
Now an enthusiastic convert to the US-led “war on terror”, President Saleh will today attend a London donors’ conference at which he hopes to raise more than $5bn (Â£2.6bn) to help Yemen fight poverty.
Britain, which contributes Â£10m per year to help Yemen meet international poverty targets, will raise its aid to Â£50m per year by 2011 – an increase of 400 per cent – the International Development minister Gareth Thomas said yesterday.
The West is acting to bolster the Yemeni government, which has carried out democratic reforms under President Saleh, in order to prevent Yemen becoming a failed state, said Mamoun Fandy, an analyst with the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
“Yemen can go two ways. It can either spiral into a Somalia, or donors can prop up the government to make sure its policies won’t feed into the message of al-Qa’ida,” he said.
If study after study hadn’t already shown that poverty doesn’t cause terror, this might make some sense.
The government this week vowed to strike terrorists with “an iron fist” after a group calling itself al-Qa’ida in Yemen claimed responsibility for an attempted suicide attack two months ago on oil facilities….
Britain hopes that wealthy Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, as well as the European Commission and World Bank, will donate generously.
Will the Saudis and Kuwait chip in? Hope away.