Half of Yemen trapped in poverty
Financial Times — 28 January 2013
Yemen’s biggest problem is the grinding poverty which has plagued the country for decades. When the former northern and southern states – the Yemen Arab Republic and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen – unified in 1990 less than a fifth of the population lived under the breadline. Years of economic mismanagement later, the UN reckons that more than half of Yemenis live on $2 a day or less. The UN believes that 13m people – more than half the population – now need some kind of humanitarian assistance. Even if that can be managed, there is the tricky question of jobs, especially for Yemen’s young people, about 60-70 per cent of whom are unemployed. But Sana’a already spends 80 per cent of its budget on salaries and subsidies and will struggle to pay for a $3.2bn budget deficit forecast for 2013. The government cannot afford to create new jobs.
Yemen fighting stops as mediators try to release hostages
Reuters — 30 January 2013
Yemen suspended a military operation against al Qaeda-linked militants in the south on Wednesday while tribal leaders tried to secure the release three Western hostages the Islamists are holding, a tribal leader said. About 8,000 soldiers have been taking part in the offensive, which was launched on Monday against on al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) stronghold in the small town of al-Manaseh, in al-Bayda province south of the capital Sanaa.
Corruption and inefficiency hinders Yemen’s local administration
Yemen Times — 29 January 2013
Dr. Abdullah Abu Al-Ghaith, a professor of political science at the University of Sana’a said that the local governance has failed to achieve its ends because the aim of establishing local rule in Yemen was not actually implemented with the interest of Yemen’s districts and areas in mind. “The aim was to only keep the citizens busy with something unreal and now this has become an obstacle to people’s access to service,” he said. He indicated that the majority members who entered the elections were corrupted figures. The professor highlighted that “the local councils have become just a tool in the hand of the regime to pass decisions without being accountable for the consequences.” Continue reading