What does Yemen need to encounter,Problems of aggravating poverty, unemployment & production weakness? [Archives:2005/873/Business & Economy]

September 1 2005

Despite of Yemen's crude oil production amounts to 450 thousand barrels per day, the Yemeni economy is still characterized by limited potentials; human and institutional. This entails deterioration of productivity and consequently low standard of the individual living. It is especially so when we take into consideration that the working individual sustains more than four persons.

Moreover, according to economic criterion Yemen is categorized as the poorest among the Arab countries in the Arab peninsula region.

Although three decades have elapsed since Yemen has begun its modern economic and developmental march, it is still categorized among the 20 least developed and low income countries in the world. According o the latest census Yemen's population amounts o 20 million people so the income per capita from gross national product would be approximately $247 ( less than one dollar a day, which represents around 6.7% of the world average amounting 5, 13 dollars).

Such a situation concerning the individual low income and what it produces in aggravation of poverty problems, deprivation, unemployment and weakness of productivity, dictates on all to work for mustering all the country's potentials and resources to raise the living standard of the population and realize their hopes and aspirations towards better living and brighter future.

The Yemeni economy depends in the first place on agriculture. Production of agriculture and fish constitutes 25.1% of the gross domestic product, government services 16.1%, extraction industries sector 14.1%, transport, storage and communications sector 15.3%.

The remainder of sectors occupies a secondary place. Of these are the conversion industries, including oil refinery occupying 9.6% then wholesale and retail sale trade 6.8%, financial, real estates and work services 5.7%, building and construction 2.7% and the rest completes the percentage.

A report has been prepared on realization of the goals of the third millennium 1990-2015 to be coinciding with beginning of the implementation of the national strategy of poverty alleviation to form the reference framework for assessment he extent of progress attained in achievement of the objectives and implementation of policies included in the strategy document.

The report clearly indicates that the agenda of Yemeni government and its partners in development for fighting poverty and creation of job opportunities has economic, social and political aspects. Statements on surveying the family budget point to the large-scale phenomenon of poverty in Yemen.

There are 6.9 million people (about 40.6%) suffering from various types of poverty and around 41.8% of the population is incapable of providing their nutrition requirements and goods. The report also indicates that poverty is mostly concentrating in the countryside, the level of which varies from one governorate to another.

Commitment to combating poverty has been culminated by official efforts in dealing with many issues and challenges with regard to politic and institutional building through strengthening ties with all neighboring countries.

It also helped develop a democratic system based on political pluralism and enhancement of local authority system and popular participation. As for the economic and social level, a program for economic reform has been implemented. The program has contributed to realization of economic stability and high proportions of available revenues have been allocated to sectors of education, health and social safety net.

But despite the efforts exerted, phenomena of poverty are still existent in a number of aspects that are represented by decline in the level of joining elementary education, weakness of preliminary health care services and the difficulty of obtaining safe drinking waters. Therefore, there must be a kind of mobilization of all energies and resources to curb the danger of falling into the poverty circle and have to pursue its roots and causes in the countryside and urban areas. There also must be a work for treating the sharp difference between the two sexes and between the rural and urban areas throughout the country.

According to experts' assessment, the situation requires enhancement of economic reforms, reforming judiciary system and civil service, supporting decentralization trend and improvement of national capabilities in analyzing policies and evaluation and follow-up the implemented programs and projects aimed at alleviating poverty.

Experts confirm that in the coming period, Yemen has to specify the volume of required revenues to achieve goals of the millennium by doubling efforts towards mobilization of required resources and develop potentials at various levels so that Yemen could be able to realize goals of the millennium during the year of 2015.