Workers seeking jobs, suffering poverty,Government endeavours to implement projects generating jobs [Archives:2004/802/Business & Economy]

December 27 2004

Long queues of jobless workers stand in columns at corners and turnings of the capital streets in quest of jobs, holding their work equipment.

Those people come from various Yemeni areas in search for work. When they talk about their concerns, they do not know there are strategies, plans drawn, and conferences held for finding solutions for unemployment, as the government claims that it would curb unemployment in the plans of the year 2005.

Workers say all doors are closed to us. They say in the early morning they carry their work tools, wait for long hours in vain until their bodies get exhausted of cold weather and waiting. Some of them catch cold and other diseases due to those hard circumstances and after all they do not get jobs but in very rare cases of the kind that lasts for four days a week.

A worker points at his tools in front of him, stressing that he has traveled a long distance to come to the capital for work. He did not find but coldness to host him in the morning and sees him off in the evening, leaving behind him in his village in Taiz five children waiting to send them expenses for living.

Another worker says he has acquired the profession of plumbing when he used to work in Saudi Arabia and says he has good experience in the job but seems job opportunities would not be available until the wave of cold weather subsides, adding he does not know about what would happen to him in the coming days.

Another man from the governorate of Ibb, well versed in economic conditions and retreat of family income sees that the existing mechanism of market based on free works, do not provide many job opportunities and if they are there, they are rather limited.

Each construction contractor has his own workers who he knows and he would hire them to work for his projects. He adds that the problem is that here in Yemen “We hear of strategies and plans for creation of work opportunities and the government tells about role of local authorities in this regard but in reality we do not feel any improvement in our situation or in reduction the rate of unemployment in our areas.

We have practically felt that the local councils in the governorates and districts are incapable of creating any job opportunities.”

Those workers and others constitute samples randomly selected from among thousands of unemployed workers queuing every day at main street crossings waiting for getting a job.

Despite of all those situations the government says it has designed suitable cures in the budget of 2005 to deal with the question of curbing unemployment and founding job opportunities.

According to the government, the plans are centered on creation of intensive job opportunities through giving priority to infrastructure projects and appropriation of over YR 197 billion for those projects in addition to about 35 billion riyals allotted among credits for profit-yielding projects.

The government affirms that its endeavor for alleviation of unemployment would be promising in the plan of the year 2005. The government expects that conditions of workers would be improved under its interest in qualifying labour, fighting poverty and providing practical solutions accommodating the largest number of the unemployed in the free market, among those are the graduates from universities.

In this plan, the government has given hope to the labour market if it managed to implement its plans in this respect of profit-yielding projects and employing the unemployed who feel the suffering of searching for jobs delivering them from bankruptcy.