Millions of Yemenis fail to secure food and clothing [Archives:2006/941/Local News]

April 27 2006

SANA'A, April 25 ) The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation estimates that 41.18 percent of Yemen's population lives below the poverty line, meaning 6.9 million citizens are unable to fulfill their food, residence and service demands.

Issued last month, the annual economic report found a disparity between income and consumption, noting that 30 percent of Yemenis own 49 percent of the nation's total per capita and are responsible for 49 percent of total consumption. However, the 30 percent of Yemenis with the least income obtain only six percent of total per capita and their consumption rate is only eight percent. This indicates the large gap between classes in society.

The report noted that the salient features of Yemen's poverty are realized in the increased unemployment rate and rising foodstuff prices. Added to this is the illiteracy rate, optioning from school and child labor.

The report also mentioned that a large sector of the population has no access to basic services and health care is not provided for the neediest, which is considered a major challenge to Yemen.

The report estimates that the unemployment rate will hit 17 percent this year, with its highest rate among 24-year-olds, who comprise 48.4 percent of the population.

The report warned of poverty's societal effects, as realized in crimes such as robbery and murder. It also warned of the negative effects of deteriorated living standards and families' failure to provide appropriate food and medicine.