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Reconstruction of war-torn Yemen ‘could cost $15 billion’

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The reconstruction of war-torn Yemen could cost $15 billion, a cabinet minister said on Tuesday, citing a multilateral institution.

“The World Bank estimates… $15 billion,” Abdulraqeb Saif Fateh, Yemen’s minister of local administration, told AFP on the sidelines of a workshop on Yemen’s post-war recovery.

He gave no details of what exactly the figure would cover but the war has left Yemenis suffering from shortages of food, water, sanitation and healthcare.

Fateh, who is also chairman of Yemen’s High Relief Committee, spoke near the close of a two-day workshop on “post-conflict recovery and reconstruction” in Yemen.

The workshop was attended by international donors and organised by Yemen’s government and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The six-member GCC in December pledged a global conference on the reconstruction of Yemen after a political solution to the war is reached.

Yemen was already the Arab world’s poorest country before March last year when a Saudi-led Arab coalition began air raids and later sent in ground forces to support its internationally recognised government

The coalition intervened after Houthi rebels and their allies overran much of the country.

Saudi Arabia says the rebels have received weapons from its regional rival Iran, a charge Tehran denies.

More than half of the 6,600 people killed in Yemen since March last year have been civilians, the UN says.

Last week the UN rights office warned that about 7.6 million people in Yemen were suffering from malnutrition, while at least three million had fled their homes.