The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) extended a KD11.8m ($40.1m) loan to Yemen to help finance a port project at Sokatra Island. The scope of the project includes the construction of a 1.3-square-kilometre seaport capable of handling ships of up to 7,000 tonnes.

The Yemen Arab Sea Ports Corporation will provide implementation and construction supervision services. Engineering services for detailed designs and documentation will be contracted in early May. The project is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2014.

The Sokatra Island project aims to enhance the economic and social connection between the isolated island and ports throughout Yemen and the region.

The loan represents the latest offering in a long history of economic assistance between KFAED and Yemen. KFAED has previously extended 30 loans totalling about KD83.2m to the Republic of Yemen. The fund has also provided KD2.9m in technical assistance and a KD2.5 million grant to finance the construction of housing in Dhamar.

Yemen is one of many Arab states to receive KFAED assistance. To date, the fund has provided loans totalling KD113m to Oman and KD27m to Bahrain.