President instructs $2 billion for electricity & job opportunities [Archives:2007/1077/Local News]

August 16 2007

By: Mustafa Asshaeri
For Yemen Times

SANA'A, Aug. 13 ) The President of the Republic Ali Abdullah Saleh instructed the government last Monday to assign $ 1billion so as to accelerate producing electricity power to cover the power shortage. He also allocates another $ 1 billion to create job opportunities to the huge number of unemployed people.

Saleh pointed out to the participants of the 4th General Conference of the Cooperative agricultural Union that he is trying to solve the critical and significant situations of the shortage of electricity as well as the steadily accelerating unemployment.

“We are looking forward to come out of the conference with positive and fruitful outcomes to avoid deficit aspects which occurred during the last period”, the President said.

He also stressed that the government should seriously solve the perplexing problem of unemployment which is of high rate in Yemen.

Recent studies referred that Unemployment in Yemen increased sharply due to the government failure to improve the economic policies and enhance the life standards of Yemen. According to the 2006 annual economic report, unemployment average in Yemen has rocketed up since 2003 – 05 to 34%, which is regarded as the biggest number so far.

The report stated also that the number of young people graduating every year from universities and private institutions reaches up to 188000 graduates, while the available annual vacancies are not more than 16000 jobs.

Unemployment in Yemen is a real hassle facing the development as it has economical and social effects. The person average daily income has been affected due to the recent price hikes and the increase of unemployment. Studies conducted by both local and international institutions show that poverty is the main cause of violence and crimes.

The young people spend their time hanging around in the streets, committing violence and crimes as a result of unemployment.

The electricity, on the other hand, is not in a good condition too. Yemeni people all over the country suffer from unbearable power shortage.

“It is a received habit that the power goes off daily for one to two hours. Sometimes during the exam period the power keeps on flashing continuously and we can go with that, but in Ramadan, it is unbearable”, a 25-year-old young man working in Trust Yemen Company said.

“The President pledged during his recent electoral campaign to enhance the power shortage with nuclear power and we are still waiting”, he continued.

According to Yemen's Public Electricity Corporation (PEC), the country's electricity distribution network is inadequate. Currently, it is estimated that only 40 percent of the total population in Yemen have access to electricity from the national power grid. Even for those connected to the grid, electricity supply is intermittent, with rolling blackout schedules maintained in most cities. In order to meet the growing demand (up to 20 percent between 2000 and 2004) and to avert an energy crisis in the medium term, Yemen's Electricity and Water Ministry has plans to increase the country's power, generating capacity to 1,400 megawatts (MW) by 2010.