Workshop on capital Secretariat’s efforts in fighting poverty [Archives:2007/1072/Local News]

July 30 2007

Esam Al-Duais
For Yemen Times

SANA'A, July, 29 ) A workshop on the Capital secretariat's efforts to fight and alleviate poverty was staged in Taj Saba Hotel, in Sana'a, on Sunday, July 29th. The function was attended by Yahya Al-Shuaibi, Secretary General of the Capital Secretariat of Sana'a, along with Ameen Jum'an, Secretary General of the Local Council, and Mohammed Al-Sermi, First Deputy of the Secretariat. Also, it was attended by the directors of four districts of the capital city of Sana'a.

During the workshop a work paper on evaluating projects of elevating poverty in the capital city of Sana'a was presented by a work team consisting of Dr. Najah Al-Faqih, Najah Sayim, Ameen Al-Erayani, and Fuad Al-Qudaimi, who discussed in their work paper how the poverty elevation projects, in Sana'a, could decrease poverty indicators by providing basic services to the population. The work paper mentioned that poverty does not lie only in food supply but also in different aspects of life such as education and infrastructure services. The work paper mentioned that 90 % of families have exceeded poverty. However, the study indicates that 80 % of the population of the capital city receives water and 98 % gets power supply. Furthermore, the study pointed out that 90% of the households has access to paved roads.

Worth-noting, the Arab Institute for developing Cities participated in the workshop. O'thman Al-Hassan, one of the institute representatives, presented a work paper in which he focused on the tasks of the local administrations in alleviating poverty. In his paper, O'thman urged these administrations to prepare plans and strategies to reduce the brunt of civil poverty. He also said that the citizens must take part in drawing the policies of fighting poverty. “The concerned parties should also hold training workshops to train women of poor families to master skills and apprehend crafts to administer their own enterprises,” he elaborated.

Furthermore, O'thman discussed in his paper the challenges facing the implementation of civil poverty alleviation program. “There are economic, administrative, and building-capacities challenges that must be overcome in order to reduce civil poverty that most of the Arab cities suffer from” he emphasized.

Ali Mosa, also a representative of Arab Institute for developing Cities, discussed his work paper, related to the project of civil poverty and Population Dynamics in the Arab Cities. Mosa explained that the project aims at preparing a comprehensive and general framework to unite efforts of the concerned parties so as to reduce the brunt of civil poverty. He also mentioned that there must be practical policies to overcome poverty through urban and sustainable development as well as through creating a continuous support and expanding the population knowledge of the danger of poverty. He clarified that the project of urban poverty and population dynamics aims at achieving a number of recommendations, one of which is expanding the information role on the population dynamics and poverty reduction along with its accompanied activities. His paper also recommended holding four training workshops in four cities of the Arab world. “The implementation process includes paying care and attention to the performance evaluation and follow-up” he pointed out.

It is worth mentioning that the ceremony was ended with a hot discussion in which the directors of Sana'a four districts demanded the upgrade of the statistics presented in the work paper of the work team. The directors argued that the data are dated back to the year of 2000. They also said that the work papers did not discuss the main factors that affect the success of reducing poverty such as corruption, bribery, lack of conscience, and qat tree, which play a vital role in increasing poverty.

The directors also stressed that reducing urban poverty should not only be limited to the fund of social development, the projects of public works, and the micro financing projects but also include the participation of the local council in alleviating poverty. They, however, insisted on launching some enterprises that encourage families to be productive and not to be reliant on the monthly subsidies. Additionally, some of them urged for establishing a ministry of poverty alleviation.