Environment

Yemen allocates funds for al-Mahra storm relief

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden

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A picture taken on October 14th shows flooding in the Adonab valley near Salalah in southern Oman during Tropical Storm Luban. At least three people were killed and 33 injured by flash flooding in Yemen and Oman caused by the storm. [Mohammed Mahjoub/AFP]

Yemen’s government has allocated two billion Yemeni riyals ($8 million) to al-Mahra province to help tackle the aftermath of Tropical Storm Luban, which battered the eastern province between October 15th and 17th.

Yemen's new Prime Minister Moeen Abdulmalik announced the emergency funding Saturday (October 27th) at a press conference in al-Mahra's provincial office.

"The funds will primarily be directed towards the restoration of public services which were affected by the storm, including the maintenance and repair of roads, electricity, water, communications networks and hospitals," he said.

At its next meeting in Aden, the council of ministers will approve the establishment of a decentralised executive unit to oversee reconstruction in al-Mahra, he said.

The government is surveying the damage caused by the storm, Abdulmalik said, noting that thousands of homes have been destroyed and 90% of public services are unavailable.

He added that many fishermen and farmers are unable to work due to the flooding.

Abdulmalik lauded the efforts of engineering teams and the local government in al-Mahra province and the 1st Military District Command, as well as the Arab coalition, which provided emergency assistance to Yemenis.

Al-Mahra province, which shares borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman, represents 17% of Yemen’s total land area.

At least 12 people were killed and 126 injured by flash flooding in Yemen and Oman caused by the storm.

Ministerial committee to address challenges

International organisations have so far been focusing "only on humanitarian relief and not on reconstruction efforts in al-Mahra", said Yemen's Deputy Human Rights Minister Nabil Abdul Hafiz.

They need to work to meet Yemen’s various needs so they are not concentrated on one area only, he told Al-Mashareq.

"The government has formed an executive committee which will co-ordinate with international organisations to rally support for reconstruction efforts and the allocation of funds to Yemen," he said.

The Prime Minister on Friday issued a decision to form a ministerial committee to deal with the aftermath of the storm in al-Mahra.

The committee, headed by Minister of Local Administration Abdul Raqeeb Fateh, will form technical sub-committees to assess damages, prepare work plans to address them, follow up on the provision of assistance and relief, and co-ordinate with international relief organisations.

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