The poor in the capital, Suffer from drop in food & income [Archives:2003/663/Business & Economy]

August 28 2003

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
Cases of poverty, food poverty and very low levels of income are on the increase in the capital Sana'a because of the aggravated rates of unemployment although the government has embarked on implementation of the strategy of combating poverty since the beginning of this year.
In a field reportage on the number of the poor in the capital it has been found that there are elements aggravating the social problems and pushing segments from the middle class to precipitate towards acute poverty and the drop in the levels of income to the lowest.
Rami Abdulla working in selling used goods in the Hasaba area mentions that every time the government announces about a plan for fighting poverty and providing work opportunities, the tragedies of poverty increase because of the persons who employ foreign assistance for their personal purposes and gain the fruit of economic and financial reforms under the justification of leading the change. Another citizen Hassan Ali al-Matari at workers market in Mazda area tell of very amazing stories on nonexistence of job opportunities in the capital saying, '' Every morning we come to the market looking for a job where we find an opportunity for one day work with wages that do not meet expenses of a family for two days.'' He bitterly speaks about the huge budget for fighting poverty but what are seen regrettably are cases of vagrant children and unemployed workers. The state allocate large sums of money in the name of the poor then are given to those entrusted with executing the national strategy on fighting poverty.
In Safia area in the capital one would find long queues of persons looking for a job since the early hours of the day with rather in vain. Mohammed Sarhan al-Ba'dni says everyday I look here for a job but we do not find it with the government or the private sector, except for some work offered by individuals. Al-Ba'dani says during the month of August he has worked only for three times, wondering where and how he can manage spending on his 5-member family at a time the state says it is fighting poverty then attacks houses of limited income people in the outskirts of the capital city and destroys them and thus doubling the tragedies of the poor.
Ali Farhan al-Shareef says the problem of unemployment is aggravating and its rates increased to exceed the 37% percent of the workforce and the official measures did not realize growth rates providing job opportunities for the unemployed.
It is important to point out that poverty in Yemen is growing and getting bigger despite the official efforts for curbing it and realizing sustainable growth in the country.