Last Updated: Wed Mar 02, 2011 13:03 pm (KSA) 10:03 am (GMT)

Gulf States to aid unrest-hit Bahrain, Oman: report

GCC States plan to launch a massive Marshall-style plan to assist Gulf region’s poorest countries, Bahrain & Oman
GCC States plan to launch a massive Marshall-style plan to assist Gulf region’s poorest countries, Bahrain & Oman

Energy rich Gulf States plan to launch a massive Marshall-style plan to assist Bahrain and Oman which have been hit by unrest, Kuwait's al-Qabas newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Citing unnamed senior sources, the daily said the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council states were holding discussions that may culminate in a summit to launch the aid package.

Besides Oman and Bahrain, the GCC groups Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, which together are estimated to have $1.35 trillion in surplus assets amassed in the past few years from oil revenues.

The aid program was aimed at boosting economic and social conditions, and living standards in Bahrain and Oman, as well as provide housing to the needy, create jobs and upgrade public services, al-Qabas said.

It also calls for according priority to Omani and Bahraini job-seekers in the four GCC nations. The report provided no details about the expected cost of the plan.

Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa led a high-level political and economic delegation to Kuwait on Tuesday, and was expected in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Wednesday.

No details were provided about the purpose of his visits.

Bahrain and Oman are the poorest of the six-nation GCC alliance, with limited oil resources and problems finding jobs for their native population.

Protesters have taken to the streets of Bahrain, demanding political and economic reforms, while demonstrators in Oman have focused on jobs and fighting corruption.

The United States launched the "Marshall Plan" in 1947 to rebuild western Europe after World War II. The scheme was named after its architect, US secretary of state George Marshall.

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