It might seem premature to discuss reconstruction as the war in Yemen drags on, with many actors on the ground seeing no end in sight. However, several key decision-makers, including Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council, are already discussing post-war strategies for reconstruction and recovery in Yemen. It is valuable then to discuss some policies that could facilitate rebuilding Yemen’s fractured economy, with an eye toward the future and the cessation of hostilities, but including those that could help the economy even before the conflict has ended.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies published in May 2017 a detailed analysis of the conflict in Yemen that closely examines the humanitarian catastrophe and outlines the necessities for sustainable peace. The civil war in Yemen has led to an economic collapse, massive destruction of infrastructure and civil institutions, and a health crisis. The author argues that a military victory or ceasefire won’t be sufficient for recovery or peace. In order to move to stable postwar development efforts, Yemen must be truly united under a modern central government that can effectively govern and focus on recovery, bolstered by international aid. The US must prioritize nation-building as it seeks a solution to the civil war, otherwise it risks a devastating relapse into conflict.