Report:Mismanaged human resource causes underdevelopment [Archives:2007/1062/Local News]

June 25 2007

Moneer Al-Omari
SANA'A, June 23 ) An international report recently ranked Yemen among the weakest and most vulnerable countries, lagging behind in terms of economic, social and political indicators.

The report by the Fund for Peace, an American establishment promoting sustainable security, and the U.S. State Department's “Foreign Policy” magazine ranks Yemen 24th among 69 countries subject to failure or breakdown due to human or natural disasters.

Despite the fact that Yemen slowly has improved its record, it remains among the weakest countries due to rampant corruption, unemployment and mismanaged resources and human capital.

As for social indicators, with the world's highest fertility rate, Yemen's inordinate population increase causes many problems for its ailing economy and increases demand on basic services. Other factors include the massive movement of displaced peoples and African emigrants, which further burden Yemen and Yemenis.

Moreover, the country suffers chronic and sustained human flight/emigration and brain drain, together with tribal dominance of political life. Likewise, its economic factors are worsening and it is experiencing a sharp economic decline, as well as uneven economic development.

Regarding political indicators, vulnerable nations like Yemen suffer progressive deterioration in public services, absence or improper application of law and widespread human rights violations. Further, security apparatuses and administrations are outlaws and operate as a state within a state.

Corruption currently is ranked as Yemen's top problem, as it is rampant in all state institutions. Despite positive steps recently taken to form an anti-corruption committee and issue new legislation to combat it, there's been little or no progress.

The Yemeni government's human rights record has improved slightly. The report considers Yemen's security apparatuses responsible for human rights violations including arrests, torture, murders and breach of citizens' privacy. Political Security and National Security apparatuses linked directly to the presidential palace are responsible for gross human rights violations. Further, prison conditions in Yemen are horrible and substandard.

Additionally, the margin of opinion and press freedom has shrunk dramatically. Children's abuse is prevalent and there is trafficking and violence against women and children, as well as discrimination against minorities.

Despite mutual cooperation with the United States in matters related to the “War on Terror,” Yemen has been a haven for terrorists, particularly those groups linked to Al-Qaeda; however, it has managed to unravel their webs and hunt down the organization's affiliates.

Long ruled by President Ali Abdullah Saleh since 1978, Yemen is suffering from corruption and lack of transparency. Formal restrictions are exercised against the country's essentially disorganized opposition parties.

Further, Yemeni security and armed forces are relatively disorganized and, although they managed to quell the Houthi upsurges, they are unable to defend citizens against tribal and factional violence.

Social fanaticism and bribery are common and the Yemeni judiciary isn't totally impartial, as the executive authority interferes in the work of judges and high-ranking officials pressure judges and prosecutors to rule otherwise. Nevertheless, Yemen's judiciary system has begun to improve under reforms instituted by the Ministry of Justice and President Saleh's ceding of the Supreme Judicial Council presidency.

The Yemeni state's inability to achieve success is attributed mainly to the spread of corruption, low salaries and mismanaged human resources. The report stresses the importance of working to alleviate corruption and strengthen state institutions, as well as granting more authority to the judiciary.