In UNDP’s 2003 Human Development Report:Yemen’s human development deteriorates [Archives:2003/652/Local News]

July 21 2003

By Mohammed bin Sallam
Yemen Times Staff

SANAA- The recently published Human Development Report 2003 by the UNDP revealed that Yemen dropped four ranks this year to become number 148 after being 144 in last year's ranking. If this continues, Yemen may well drop below many African countries, which are still behind it. The country continues to maintain a very low rank in human development, possibly proving the graveness of the challenges facing the new government concerning human development.
The report was handed over officially to Foreign Minister Dr. Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi by UNDP Resident Representative James Rawley. It was quite obvious that Yemeni officials did not have much to cheer about as numbers continued to fall this year as well. The report indicated that Yemen is the least developed Asian country at all and the least developed Arab country just before Djibouti.
Realizing the critical state of Yemen's human development, Dr. Al-Qirbi pledged to work extensively on the priorities set by the UNDP to tackle the country's major problems “We have to deal with poverty. Globalization shouldn't result in having the rich countries grow richer and the poor countries become poorer,” the foreign minister said.
According to the report, Yemen ranks extremely low in education, income, health, water, civil services, and virtually all other aspects.
Furthermore, all countries less developed than Yemen are all in Africa except Haiti. If the same rate of development continues, there may be no other non-African country less developed than Yemen, especially as Haiti is just tracing it.
What makes it much more difficult for Yemen is the extremely high rate of population growth of 3.7%, which is the highest in the world and will definitely contribute negatively in Yemen's developmental efforts if not tackled.