Yemen sets up third five-year plan [Archives:2005/817/Business & Economy]

February 18 2005

The concerned authorities are currently preparing the third five-year plan for the years 2006-2010 to cope with the most eminent challenges in the development and service sectors. The main parts of the plan aim at achieving the Millennium Goals and integrating the poverty combat strategy into the economic development plan unlike the former plan, which separated them.

Perhaps the most prominent challenges before the national economy, which are to be addressed by this plan towards achievement of sustainable development, are:

First: high rate of population growth in contrast to limited economic resources.

Second: the problem of unemployment has exacerbated reaching 37% of workforce as a result of the growth of workforce by 4.3% annually.

Third: lack of quality training of human resources. Yemen has a high rate of illiteracy while there is decrease in number of students enrolled in basic and technical education institutions. Moreover, educational curricula and training programs do not go in parallel with scientific advancement and market's needs.

Fourth: a notable rise in poverty percentage reaching between 27% and 34%.

Fifth: frailness of basic skeletons of infrastructure and service projects including roads, electricity, water, sanitary disposal, communication, educational establishments and health facilities.

Sixth: a shortage in high education input in scientific and technological areas and a feeble research movement as well as fragility in IT infrastructure.

Yemen is expected to be needing during the coming period of the third five-year plan (206-20010) to develop the agricultural sector increasing its contribution to the gross domestic production and raising amount of agricultural exports.

Therefore, the Plan is attempting at pushing up the percentage of cash and strategic crops related to food security especially wheat. It also tries to support small farmers and activate the role of the private and collaborative sectors to expand the size of cultivated lands.

According to sources at the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the organizational change intended by the Plan is to boost the contribution of non-oil sectors and better make use of the available resources such as fishery and animal wealth.

The next period requires the achievement of the Millennium Goals in the fields of education, health and social services as well as adopting precautionary monetary and financial policies to control inflation rates and increase the volume of non-oil exports.