Poor cry out! [Archives:2002/09/Front Page]

February 25 2002

Statistics recently given by the central government about Yemens rate of poverty that our country continues to move into economic hardship.
The figures offer a sobering picture of Yemens economic situation.
There is a rising number of people living below the poverty line. They were estimated at 38% of population in 1999.
The number of jobless people soared to 40% while the economic growth rate deteriorated dramatically. The GDP rate fell from 8.1% in 1997 to 4.9% in 1998.
The number of people who cannot obtain the basic needs of living is estimated at nine million, of which 3.5 million hardly can they keep their soul and body together, depending mainly on alms.
Yemeni economists expect this number to rise to 4.5 million in the year 2010, and eight million in 2025, as long as the economic growth rate remains the same, with the recent level of population growth rate at 3.5%.
Monthly average income per capita fell to 84%.
The growth rate of agriculture has decreased now to 00.88% in comparison with 13.7% in 1998.
The industrial growth rate went down to less than one percent (0.68%) compared to 3.8% in 1998.
A number of local factories and companies closed down as a result of the recent stagnation of local industry , which has been damaged by the unorganized and smuggled flow of foreign products into Yemeni markets.
Economists believe corruption and the absence of accountability and integrity in the centers of power, except for a select few, is the major factor behind these problems.
The economic reform package was initiated in 1995 to revitalize the Yemeni economy and safeguard it from collapse. However, because of the corruption, our efforts of reform failed to make an impact.
It is believed that Yemens economy can still be revitalized resources are made use of appropriately, and revenues are channeled to the public treasury.
This could make a difference to improve our economy instead of asking Saudi Arabia and other countries to handle our development process.