Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Yemeni child malnutrition among highest in world

Filed under: Children, Demographics, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:46 am on Wednesday, January 25, 2012

(Corrected: My dyslexia or perhaps wishful thinking had the title as lowest when it should have read highest.)

In 2005 when i started paying attention to this stat, it was about 46% of children were physically stunted from malnutrition, and of course those numbers were higher in some areas specifically in Saada. And the sad reality is that now 58% of all Yemeni kids are too small for their age and many die of malnutrition.

Along with physical stunting often comes permanent brain damage, a lower IQ and cognitive faculties. Its important to reverse this trend ASAP through international cooperation and support: feeding centers, plump-n-nut, school lunches etc. The problem always was that the corrupt officials in the Yemeni regime stole the vast majority of international aid. Here in the new improved transparent Yemen, that should be less of a problem in theory. Many of the donors are in fact stepping up to the plate.

UNICEF official voices concern over child malnutrition in Yemen [24/January/2012] Saba: SANAA, Jan. 24 (Saba)- UNICEF Regional Director Maria Calivis concluded on Tuesday a two-day visit to Yemen where she saw first-hand the impact of malnutrition on children’s health.

“This year alone, half a million children in Yemen are likely to die from malnutrition or to suffer lifelong physical and cognitive consequences resulting from malnutrition if we don’t take action. Malnutrition is preventable. And, therefore, inaction is unconscionable,” Calivis said.

“Conflict, poverty and drought, compounded by the unrest of the previous year, the high food and fuel prices, and the breakdown of social services, are putting children’s health at great risks and threatening their very survival.”

With 58 per cent of children stunted, Yemen has the second highest rate of chronic malnutrition among children in the world after Afghanistan. Acute malnutrition affects as many as 30 per cent of children in some parts of the country, nearing the levels observed in south Somalia, and twice as high as the internationally recognized emergency threshold. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda blocks food to starving Yemeni children

Filed under: Abyan, Aden, Children, Refugees, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:48 pm on Sunday, January 22, 2012

Well over 100,000 residents of Zinzibar fled their homes (which were then thoroughly looted by al Qaeda which transported the bounty back to Marib) when al Qaeda occupied the city and others. The areas are still under occupation and only by surrendering their civil and political rights are residents allowed to return. The families are still living in about 60 schools in Aden, causing the city’s children to miss a year of school. The US-allied Yemeni regime is thought to have green lighted the al Qaeda expansion into Abyan, Shabwa and recently al Baydah order to create chaos and delay the political transition.

Yemen Post Yemeni children direly suffer due to the current political conditions and insecurity, particularly in South Yemen, said Rima Salah, Deputy Executive Director of he UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). (Read on …)

Half million IDPs in Yemen; 1/3 kids malnourished, health services nearly non-existant

Filed under: Abyan, Children, Donors, UN, Economic, Refugees, Saada War, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 9:50 am on Wednesday, October 12, 2011

IDP’s in Yemen exceed a half million: 300K Saada, 100K Abyan, 200K (at least) Somalis; one doctor per 100K in some areas, one third of children malnourished, education on hold, humanitarian access denied and the whole UN relief project is underfunded by 40%:

Raxanreeb: U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said millions of people in Yemen face “a daily struggle for survival” due to conflict, poverty, drought, soaring food prices and collapsing state services. (Read on …)

Child hunger in Yemen spikes to alarming levels

Filed under: Children, Demographics, Post Saleh, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 12:23 pm on Monday, August 22, 2011

It was scary before. As of 2005, half of all kids were physically stunted from chronic hunger.

ADEN, 18 August 2011 (IRIN) – Continuing fighting in various parts of Yemen, which has recently displaced thousands of people especially in Abyan Governorate and the Arhab District of Sana’a, could compromise the nutritional status of those affected, especially children, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warns. This, it said, could potentially increase morbidity and mortality rates, especially among children under five.

“Yemen could become the next Somalia as child malnutrition is as big as it is in the Horn of Africa,” said Geert Cappelaere, a UNICEF representative in Yemen. While malnutrition was widespread in Yemen, the condition of many children had been worsened by displacement, he added. (Read on …)

Humanitarian crisis grows in Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, poverty/ hunger, protests — by Jane Novak at 9:24 am on Thursday, June 23, 2011

Update: bombing today in Jaar and al Habylean.

The Saleh regime’s overt strategy during the Saada War was to block food, diesel, medical supplies and international aid to Yemeni citizens in the war zones as a means of encouraging the population to turn against the rebels. While some believe those tactics are being employed currently, like deliberately cutting the electricity, even before the protests broke out, Yemen was already scheduled to run out of money by June. Many government workers have been unpaid for months, and that has little to do with the protests. However, the protests essentially have shut down businesses across Yemen, providing a further shock to a widely dysfunctional and crumbling economy that had been distorted for decades by grand corruption. More on the economics below the fold.

YOL Gian Carlo Cirri of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) says that “Yemen is undergoing its worst humanitarian crisis ever.” Cirri, who directs WFP’s Yemen mission, says “I cannot recall a time when hardship has been greater in recent Yemeni history.”

Food prices are skyrocketing in Yemen. WFP reports there has been “a 39 percent increase in the price of wheat over just five months.” (Read on …)

SEYAJ appeals for urgently needed aid for displaced people from Abyan

Filed under: Abyan, Aden, Air strike, Counter-terror, Donors, UN, Lahj, Refugees, South Yemen, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:52 am on Thursday, June 23, 2011

The humanitarian crisis is deepening and SEYAJ urges relief convoys to the starving people displaced to Aden and Lahj

An appeal call No(2) to save the people in Abyan

Issued by the Emergency Cell in Seyaj
Yemen- Sana’a- June 22nd -2011

The Emergency Cell in Seyaj organization for childhood protection calls to declare Abyan governorate as a disastrous area by all the standards.

Seyaj directs its second humanitarian appeal to all the Yemeni people to send urgent humanitarian relief convoys to the victims in Abyan of the dirty security political game that displaced , killed and violated the lives, humanity and dignity of at least more than forty thousand families.

Moreover, Seyaj calls the Arabic, Islamic and international associations and humanitarian relief organizations to send urgent humanitarian relief convoys to Abyan victims in Aden and Lahj governorates.

Seyaj also calls the acting president to take concrete actions to save the lives of his people and clan in Abyan.
Seyaj confirms that the areas of war against Al-Qaeda as called are free of country’s institutions that are capable of performing its duty to displaced people in Abyan, Aden and Lahj ,as the first responsibility lies on the Yemeni people in all its political& social activities, humanitarian organizations, religious men , youth , politicians and others of the society components. (Read on …)

Friday Massacre in Sanaa, updates, links: Saleh declares state of emergency

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Sana'a, Yemen, poverty/ hunger, protests — by Jane Novak at 7:22 am on Friday, March 18, 2011

52 dead and over 250 injured and its the predictable spin Saleh:

SABA: In the news conference, Interior Minister Mutahar al Masri highlighted the circumstances of the incidents saying that preliminary information had revealed that the sit-inners outside Sana’a University have been attempting to break in houses nearby the university forcing the owners to form popular committees to protect their properties and homes.

“After the Friday inciting sermon outside the university, the sit-inners headed to the inhabited areas near the university destroying the barriers built by the people to prevent the sit-inners from pitching more tents and violent clashes took place then,” said al Masri.

The idiot announced a ban on carrying weapons, forgetting there already is a ban on carrying weapons.

Also killed today, per CPJ. Jamal al-Sharaabi, a photographer for Al-Masdar. Resignations from GPC include Minister of Tourism, Alruhany Member of Shoura Council and former Minister of Agriculture Dr. Foukara resigns.

Amnesty International: “This appears to have been a sniper attack with security forces deliberately shooting to kill protesters from strategic vantage points,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Vids: Thugs on roofs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1ntzG-Xbeg
better shot of thugs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVbJK_MlvqM
unarmed protesters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifi2PbiLvK4
the injured and dead, many head shots, graphic:

12:49 pm EST President Obama issued a statement “strongly condemning” the violence in Yemen, urges Saleh to keep his pledge of non-violence toward protesters. At least its prompt and unequivocal regarding the violence, but he doesn’t call for Saleh to go but for everyone to engage in a consultation, but how do you negotiate with a murderer and a liar? (Read on …)

Yemen: 2nd highest rate of child stunting globally

Filed under: Aden, Children, Donors, UN, Ibb, Rayma, Sana'a, USA, Women's Issues, al-Bayda, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:17 pm on Tuesday, February 22, 2011

These figures are up slightly since 2005. The good news is that one million poor Yemeni women and children who never had access to health services in their lives will now receive some support from the international community. Less than half of Yemenis have access to medical services. Clean water, sanitation, electricity, and other basic services are similarly lacking. This World Bank press release contains the appalling medical current stats. Update: Neonatal tetanus kills 30,000 new born Yemeni babies a year. Pampers SA is chipping in for some vaccines, but over three million doses are needed. (Read on …)

Saleh tries to buy off, pre-empt protests

Filed under: govt budget, poverty/ hunger, protests — by Jane Novak at 9:01 am on Monday, January 31, 2011

The desperate scrambling of a desperate man. Tactics that worked before won’t again:

Saleh directs Govt to expand social security network [31/1/2011

SANA’A, Jan.31(Saba)- President Ali Abdullah Saleh directed the government on Monday to expand the network of social security by adopting 0.5 million cases of families in need in light of the results of the field survey carried out by the concerned body. (Read on …)

Is a general amnesty what Yemen needs? Updated

Filed under: Janes Articles, Presidency, Reform, political violence, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 11:31 pm on Thursday, December 9, 2010

International lawyer Adel Al Dhahab diagnosed the central obstacle to reform in Yemen: so many are guilty of serious legal infractions. There is no latitude for reform when the establishment of the rule of law would penalize those who are required to implement it. The structural component that has been missing from all proposed solutions to Yemen’s crises is a general amnesty.

Mr. Al Dhahab is a Yemeni practicing law in Canada with vast experience in civil activism, international law, the intricacies of Yemen’s political affairs and the social and tribal dynamics in Yemen.

Al Dhahab explained in a recent paper, The Missing Step, “What Yemen needs is an amnesty that will pardon all offenders across the board, whether political crime or corruption or tribal offenses. It requires selecting a cut-off date where selected crimes that occurred prior are nullified and crimes that happen after are prosecuted. “

Amnesty is a mechanism endorsed by the UN in exceptional circumstances. It was implemented in Algeria in 2006 and Iraq in February 2008. The concept of amnesty also has a strong basis in Islamic law, a prerequisite in the conservative country. (Read on …)

Farms abandoned in Yemen amid increasing hunger

Filed under: Agriculture, Demographics, Enviornmental, Qat, Water, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 12:20 pm on Saturday, December 4, 2010

One important issue that is not well understood regarding southern Yemen is the difference between loosely organized clans and cohesive tribes, a factor of rainfall levels. This article however discusses urban migration resulting from water shortages and the resulting impact on agricultural output.

Reuters: Farmers, 70 percent of the population, can no longer subsist on their own crops. Youths are flocking from the countryside to the cities in search of jobs to provide for their families. (Read on …)

Half of children under five in western Sa’ada have acute malnutrition

Filed under: Children, Donors, UN, Sa'ada, Saada War, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:29 am on Wednesday, October 20, 2010

SABA: Nearly half of the 26,246 children aged 6-59 months screened in five western districts of Saada in July 2010 were found to be suffering from global acute malnutrition; in one area, the proportion was as high as three out of four children. Overall, 17 per cent of the children screened suffer from severe acute malnutrition and 28 per cent from moderate acute malnutrition.

“Malnutrition is the main underlying cause of death for young children in Yemen, and therefore this grim situation could spell disaster for the children of Saada,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Representative in Yemen. “As winter approaches, thousands of children are at serious risk if we are not able to act immediately.” (Read on …)

Attack on Tawwakol Karaman, head of WJWC, arrests and beatings of displaced and activists

Filed under: Civil Rights, Civil Society, Media, Sana'a, Yemen, Yemen-Journalists, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:53 pm on Friday, October 15, 2010

The security forces attacked the weekly Tuesday demonstration in “Freedom Square” held to highlight the plight of the al Jasheen, repression of journalists and the withholding of newspaper licenses to independents. Tawakkol Karaman, head of Woman Journalists Without Chains, was arrested and held for hours. Many others were injured and hospitalized from among both the activists and the displaced al Jasheen villagers. It appears 35 were arrested as well.

Statement of condemnation to not detain the long head of the Organization of Women Journalists Without Chains, and the attack on Atidip Director of the Organization and human rights activists and itinerant Aldjaashen a sit-in Tuesday

Condemned the Organization of Women Journalists Without Chains of what has happened president of the organization entrusted Salam Kerman, as well as the Executive Director of the Organization Bushra Ababi and dozens of activists and human rights defenders and itinerant Aldjaashen of a barbaric attack by the security of the capital during their participation in the sit-in and march in solidarity with itinerant Aldjaashen on Tuesday, 15/10 / 2010, where long-abuse protesters beating and firing live bullets were assaulted, trust in Kerman, president of the organization and then arrested in the Department of fodder for 3 hours, and the injury of the Executive Director of the Organization of press and human rights activist Bushra Ababi during photographed picketing a shot for rubber led to the burning of her clothes, her burns in the back and her husband, were transferred down to the Republican Hospital, as well as Matardt has dozens of displaced women and their children and their husbands severely beaten with rifle butts and threatened with death and guide weapons to Rwshn and other means of intimidation, with damage to five of the women Aldjaashen been moved two of them to hospital, a Republican, as well as the arrest of 35 someone from the itinerant Aldjaashen still 13 of them held in five police stations in Sana’a, and still detained until the moment of writing this statement, namely: (Read on …)

Tetanus Vaccinations for Yemeni women

Filed under: Children, Medical, Women's Issues, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 10:12 am on Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thank God. What happens when a baby gets tetanus, usually through infection of the umbilical cord after birth, is that it withers and dies, slowly and painfully. As I noted in my recent article, one third of under five deaths in Yemen are from vaccine preventable illnesses. (And another significant portion can be traced to dirty water.) The maternal mortality rates may be understated in the following article. Its difficult to say anything about Yemen with clarity, but some estimates go as high as 340 deaths per 10,000 births. With two vaccine doses, the mother is able to provide some immunity for her newborn. Public awareness of the importance of keeping the umbilical cord clean is another issue. The medical workers still can’t get into Sa’ada though.

Up 1.7 mln women to be immunized against tetanus in Yemen
[09/أكتوبر/2010] SABA

SANA’A, Oct. 09 (Saba)– The Ministry of Public Health and Population in collaboration with UNICEF will launch on Saturday a weeklong Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination (MNTE) Campaign from 9-14 of October 2010. In a press release, UNICEF said that the campaign will target 1.7 million women of child-bearing age (15-49) in 202 districts in 14 Yemeni provinces. (Read on …)

Yemen hikes oil prices

Filed under: Oil, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:01 am on Wednesday, September 22, 2010

And I don’t even think they are reducing the subsidies. In either event, the economic problem is 92% corruption. Yemen Post

For the third time in 2010, the government has increased the prices of oil derivatives and the increase this time was by 11 per cent. (Read on …)

Political Cartoonist Kamal Sharef Forcibly Disappeared

Filed under: Judicial, Media, Sana'a, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 10:46 pm on Tuesday, August 17, 2010

At the same time journalist for the state propaganda agency SABA and “al Qaeda expert” Abdulelah Haider Shaer was arrested, political cartoonist Kamal Sharef’s house was raided and he was dragged off to an unknown location and is currently held incommunicado. Topics covered by Sharef include womens’ rights, corruption, bigotry,and child brides and other progressive commentary on social issues.

News Yemen: Security authorities arrested on Monday cartoonist Kamal honor of his home in the capital Sana’a, and confiscated his personal belongings including a laptop computer ..
وقال شقيق شرف لـ(نيوزيمن) أن مسلحين بلباس مدني وعسكري قاموا وقت الإفطار باقتحام منزلهم واعتقال شقيقه، وآخرين قاموا بمحاصرة منزلهم ، ومن ثم قاموا بتكتيف شقيقه ، اقتادوه إلى جهة مجهولة، بناءً على مذكرة حد قولهم باعتقاله. The brother’s honor (NewsYemen) Gunmen in civilian clothing and military as they break into their home breakfast and the arrest of his brother, and others who surrounded their house, and then they Petktev his brother, took him to an unknown destination, according to a warrant for his arrest they said. (Read on …)

Saada Refugees Begging for Food During Ramadan

Filed under: Saada War, Tribes, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 1:05 pm on Tuesday, August 17, 2010

They were hoping for some dates and sweets but there’s no food deliveries since June due to various conflicts and road closures. The widows and children are begging for food.

AMRAN, 17 August 2010 (IRIN) – Thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the northern Yemeni governorate of Amran, including 1,800 in the governorate’s only IDP camp, Khaiwan, have been hit by food aid delivery delays, according to aid workers. (Read on …)

Nearly Half of Yemen’s Children Working (5 Million)

Filed under: Children, Civil Rights, Employment, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 9:09 pm on Monday, August 16, 2010

Really tragic numbers here.

Daily Times: A study carried out in 2010 by the US-based aid group CHF International revealed that out of Yemen’s 11 million children, five million are currently employed. Three-fifths of those do not receive an education while the remaining two million both study and work at the same time.
CHF said that 40 percent of Yemeni children are drawn into the labour market between the ages of seven and 13. (Read on …)

Protests and Two Explosions in Taiz

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Taiz, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 12:56 pm on Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Taiz the sleeping giant… What is it with the stun grenades lately? Somebody from one of the CT units sold a crate onto the black market?

Yemen Post: Several technicians were injured when an adaptor exploded due to a technical fault during its maintenance in Taiz Province…On the other hand, an explosion was heard at the market in the area, with reports saying it was a sound grenade that hurt some people. (Read on …)

70% of Salt in Yemen not Iodized

Filed under: Medical, Ministries, non-oil resources, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 4:20 pm on Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The issue of non-iodized salt has come up before and its a change that could positively impact the nation.

Yemen Post: 70 per cent of salt at the Yemeni markets is non-iodized, a study by the UNICEF Nutrition Program has said. (Read on …)

Yemen to End Automatic Refugee Status for Somalis

Filed under: Diplomacy, Refugees, Somalia, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 3:59 pm on Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Yemen is the only nation that signed onto the UN convention granting refugees status to those fleeing war. Since then the lack of international support, and corruption and inefficiency within the UN offices, meant that Somalis in Yemen are trapped in a life of poverty and hunger with few options but to illegally migrate to Saudi Arabia and beyond. The refugees strain the government’s meager resources and many have no access to education, medical services and jobs, but then neither do many Yemenis.

IRIN: SANAA, 9 August 2010 (IRIN) – Straining to cope with the number of Somalis arriving by boat, Yemen is seeking to end the prima facie refugee status (automatic asylum) it has been giving them for the past 20 years. The government says some are economic migrants and should not be granted automatic refugee status, while others are militants seeking to join al-Qaeda groups to destabilize the country. (Read on …)

Falling Yemeni Riyal at Lowest Rate in History

Filed under: Economic, banking, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 10:05 am on Monday, August 2, 2010

CBY already injected 20% of its reserves as purchasing power shrinks amid continued public insecurity. A Yemeni economist earlier postulated that excessive money laundering has had a negative impact on the value of the riyal.

Yemen Observer Yemeni riyal fell further against the US dollar as the central bank pumped $57 million into the exchange market, the latest of a series of cash injections to support the tumbling currency which hit a record low this week. (Read on …)

Yemen in Bottom Ten of World’s Most Hungry Countries: Institute of Food Research

Filed under: Agriculture, Demographics, Qat, Water, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 5:18 pm on Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yemen Post

Water scarcity, population growth and internal conflicts are major reasons for food insecurity in Yemen, a recent report has said, warning if immediate action is not taken, food security will remain at extremely low levels until 2010 and the country will be vulnerable for external shocks and disasters.
The report issued by the Institute of Food Research (IFR) noted that food insecurity is higher in rural areas than in urban areas. (Read on …)

3 Million Yemenis Scheduled to Starve in July

Filed under: Children, Donors, UN, Medical, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:42 pm on Thursday, April 8, 2010

The second most malnourished child population in the world is going to lose aid from the World Food Program unless donors step up to the plate.

YEMEN: Food crunch warning for July

Source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) Date: 07 Apr 2010

Aid organizations are warning of a food crisis in Yemen unless international food aid funding is dramatically increased before June 2010.

The World Food Programme (WFP) says it has only received a quarter of its annual budget for 2010 (US$25.6 million out of $103.2 million), and will run out of food for 3.2 million people by the end of June. (Read on …)

WFP Unable to Feed Millions of Children and Mothers Due to Lack of Funding, Access

Filed under: Children, Demographics, Donors, UN, Women's Issues, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 11:01 am on Sunday, November 22, 2009

WFP hunger hotspots: Yemen – 20 Nov 2009
Source: United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
20 Nov 2009

Lack of funding has kept the CP on hold since June; under the HFP EMOP, 40 percent of mothers and children will not receive nutrition assistance for six of the 12 planned months. Overall, limited and late funding will leave 1.4 of nearly 1.7 million beneficiaries of the CP without assistance in November.

Following a three-week blockade of supply routes to Sa’ada town in October, WFP has been able to re-supply. Planned distribution to 55,500 IDPs in the town and camps is expected to begin 17 November. (Read on …)

58% of Yemeni Children Stunted from Malnutrition

Filed under: Children, Medical, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:32 pm on Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Higher rates than Africa and North Korea, Yemeni kids are the second most hungry child population in the world:

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Nearly 200 million children in developing countries suffer from stunted growth and health problems due to poor nutrition in their early years, the U.N. children’s foundation UNICEF said on Wednesday.

However, the percentage of children with retarded growth in Asia fell to 30 percent last year from 44 percent in 1990, and in Africa to 34 percent from 38 percent over the same period, UNICEF said in a report…

“More than one third of children who die from pneumonia, diarrhea and other illnesses could have survived had they not been undernourished,” she said.

UNICEF said that countries with the highest prevalence of stunted growth among children under the age of five include Afghanistan (59 percent), Yemen (58 percent), Guatemala and East Timor (both 54 percent), Democratic Republic of the Congo (46 percent) and North Korea (45 percent).

The 1,000 days from conception until a child’s second birthday are the most important for growth and development, the report said. Insufficient nutrition during this period can permanently harm the body’s ability to ward off and overcome diseases and damage a child’s social and mental development.

Stunted growth, UNICEF said, can rarely be corrected. However, Veneman said it can be prevented and programs to improve access to iodized salt and vitamin A supplements in Africa and Asia have improved the situation in some countries — and led to a reduction in infant and child mortality.

One Third of Yemenis Hungry- 7 Million People

Filed under: Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:47 am on Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yemen Post

One Third of Yemenis Suffer from Chronic Hunger: YMS

Yemen Media and Studies Center (YMS) warns of the exacerbation of poverty in Yemen, after specialize International researches signs shown an erosion of a new segment of Yemenis below the national poverty line, reported media outlets.

The center added that at the time the world celebrates the World Food Day, the food is still out of reach of many Yemenis. More than one out of three Yemenis suffer from chronic hunger, the study said. (Read on …)

High Rates of Child Malnutrion Among Refugees: UNICEF

Filed under: Children, Saada War, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 6:11 pm on Thursday, October 8, 2009

UNICEF

AL-MAZRAK, Yemen (October 8, 2009) — Ghonia Jaber cries and wriggles in the doctor’s lap as he takes her measurements to determine whether the 14–month–old is malnourished.

She is just one of the children UNICEF has screened for malnutrition in the Al-Mazrak camp for people displaced by conflict in northern Yemen. The camp is located some 25 miles from the town of Harad in the deserts of western Yemen.

Living conditions here are tough. All 12 members of Ghonia’s family live under one tent. But it’s better than the situation back in their remote mountain village in Sa’ada province, where fighting is still raging. When the conflict reached their village, Ghonia’s family walked for four days before they reached the camp, exhausted from the effort.

Fighting in the north of the country, pitting government troops against Houthi rebel forces, has forced 150,000 people to flee. The crisis is taking an especially heavy toll on children. Since the conflict intensified in August, cases of severe malnutrition have increased threefold. (Read on …)

Over 70% of Yemeni Women Economically Inactive

Filed under: Civil Rights, Employment, Women's Issues, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 10:16 am on Monday, July 6, 2009

frm the Yemen Post:

Like Ali, thousands of Yemeni women work in unpaid jobs and these jobs include farming, herding, collecting firewood, etc. They are denied any rights. They receive no medical care or education.
Compared to women of rural areas who work in unpaid jobs, the unemployment rates hit high among urban area women. There is just a small number of women who work in public and private sectors.
According to official statistics, women’s unemployment rates reaches 39 percent in Yemen while it is just 16 percent among men. (Read on …)

State Report on Women

Filed under: Demographics, Employment, Medical, Ministries, Parliament, Women's Issues, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:40 am on Saturday, June 13, 2009

Some women in Yemen believe they are subordinate to men. Some don’t. One time one of the “hard Muslims” as he called himself, told me that women have only half a brain. So I asked him if he ever met a smart woman and a stupid man, was it possible a woman’s half brain could be larger than a small brained man? He didn’t have an answer for that or the question, why would God give women talents if not to use them? He just started ranting he loved Osama bin Laden and offered to send me a book

State report on women issued
SANA’A, June 11 (Saba)-
Woman National Committee (WNC) issued its recent state report on challenges facing women, empowering her and future tendencies to promote her in different fields, political, economic, cultural and social.

Granting the two sexes equal opportunities to get work based on equity in all issues included in the report.

Women limited and weak political participation, women parliamentarian representation, enacting with quota demand, woman lower participation in the work, illiteracy spread, increasing mortality percentage among woman and false conceptions on woman’s issues are the main issues the report talked about. (Read on …)

CBY: Inflation Down to 2%

Filed under: Business, banking, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 11:51 am on Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Drops 8 points in first quarter, News Yemen

Governor of Central Bank of Yemen Ahmed al-Samawi said on Tuesday that the rate of inflation was decreased to 2.1 percent last February compared to 10.2 percent at the end of last year.

In a meeting with the delegation of the International Monetary Fund, al-Samawi confirmed that the condition of the banking system in the country is safe and was not affected by the global financial crisis as there is not local stock market and measures adopted to avoid such crisis in the banks.

Donors Dissatisfied with Reform Implementation

Filed under: Corruption, Donors, UN, GCC, Ministries, Yemen, govt budget, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 11:11 am on Sunday, April 26, 2009

Yemen is unable to absorb donor aid in a constructive and transparent manner. A large percentage of aid, grants and loans- beyond the 5.5 bil- have also not been utilized or were diverted. Yemen Post

SANA’A // More than two years after a donors conference in London pledged US$5.5 billion (Dh20bn) to help Yemen, just over $375 million has been disbursed. The challenge now, according to a top World Bank official, is obviously translating those pledges into action.

“We made significant pledges of financial and other assistance in London, but the challenge is now one of implementation, of ensuring that these pledges translate into actual action on the ground, and that the activities we finance are true priorities for the country,” said Daniela Gressani, the World Bank’s regional vice president for Middle East and North Africa. Almost half of the pledges – $2.5bn – came from Gulf states.

Nabil Shaiban, Yemen’s general director of international co-operation at the ministry of planning and international co-operation, said the delay in using the funds was because of the time needed to meet donors’ requirements for allocating the money. (Read on …)

2700 Yemeni Government Officials Fail to Submit Disclosure Form

Filed under: Corruption, Economic, Judicial, Local gov, Ministries, Parliament, Reform, Yemen, poverty/ hunger, theft: land other — by Jane Novak at 10:26 am on Sunday, April 26, 2009

The SNACC is going to bring it to the President’s attention. There is no information if there are irregularities in the forms submitted. Also Parliament is asking for prosecution of officials who stole YR72 billion in 2007 through corruption

Yemen Observer: The Supreme National Authority for Combating Corruption (SNACC) is taking legal procedures to refer 3 ministers, 8 governors, and 40 ambassadors to the judiciary, pursuant to article 24 of the second chapter of Anti-Corruption Law, according to SNACC member Ahmed Qurhesh. (Read on …)

Yemen Stats Agriculture, Livestock

Filed under: Agriculture, Economic, Qat, Water, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:36 am on Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Over a quarter of land is planted with Qat.

Yemen Post

A parliamentary report showed that the total agricultural land in Yemen increased to 490032 hectares in 2007, 13.8% more than in 2006. 141163 hectares of this land planted with khat, an increase of 3.9% compared to 2006. (Read on …)

The “Whole Government Approach” to Marib, Yemen? Potatoes

Filed under: Agriculture, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:39 pm on Friday, April 10, 2009

Saudi potatoes are causing a stir this year, and all agricultural enterprises in Yemen need support considering 90% of grains are imported. More on the dramatic decline in wheat imports below the fold.

Yemen Post

Farmers of Marib province confirmed that the citizens’ losses are estimated to be hundreds of millions that are going even higher if the ‘export mafia’, as they said, continues damaging the national economy of the country.

A number of farmers in Marib province threatened to stop the supply of gas to the capital Sanaa in response to ignoring their repeated demands by the competent authorities for stopping potatoes import from various countries. (Read on …)

No Food for Yemeni Flood Victims

Filed under: Agriculture, Demographics, Donors, UN, Enviornmental, Yemen, poverty/ hunger   · · · — by Jane Novak at 7:58 pm on Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The corruption is predictable but the UN’s incompetence and complacency in the face of these disasters, from the refugees, to Sa’ada to Hadramout, is staggering.

IRIN

SEYOUN, 1 April 2009 (IRIN) – Delays in distributing food aid are generating anger and despair among people in the southern Yemeni governorate of Hadhramaut affected by the October 2008 floods, flood-displaced people and community leaders say.

“We only received food rations for one month after the disaster,” said Issa Awadh Sedan, a mason from Mashta, a severely affected part of Tarim District in Hardhamaut. Sedan lost his house in the floods which left 47 dead and displaced 25,000 others. (Read on …)

Some Wheat Donated by UAE to Yemen Sold

Filed under: Donors, UN, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 10:40 am on Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Its not really news but goes to the point of elite capture of foreign aid and donations. The numbers are staggering and a good part of the responsibility lies with the donors themselves. One third ( update: 40%) of all Yemenis suffer malnutrition, kids are literally wasting. Development projects where they are carried out are carried out poorly with lack of oversight due to the patronage network. Funds are regularly diverted for cars and other perks for officials. Yemen is paying substantial interest on “unused” loans.
YT

Over 80 percent of the 75,000 tons of wheat were distributed to 1,037,000 people registered with the Social Insurance Fund across the country. The distribution process is being carried out by the Yemeni Economic Corporation (YEC). (Read on …)

Family Planning Rates Low in Yemen

Filed under: Children, Media, Medical, Women's Issues, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 10:33 am on Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Part of the reason family planning rates are low is cultural, which leads back to the following article’s point about the importance of media campaigns, but clearly another contributing factor is the deep corruption in the Health Ministry which substantially and negatively impacts every citizen.

SABA

51% of Yemeni Women don’t use means of family planning in society of high fertility rate

Studies and Figures

Number of government and non-governmental organizations reveals an improvement in the demand for family planning methods among Yemen families who actually using family planning methods, whether traditional or modern ones. According to a multi-indicator cluster survey 2006, 7.27% of married women are using the family planning methods.

The survey showed that the number of women in cities is higher than rural rates by 42.3% and 21.1%, respectively, the age of play a great role in that as the group of 35-39 years were more popular by 35% to 10.4 % for the age group 15 – 19 years. The economic situation index showed that 43.7% of women belong to rich families compared to 17.7% of women from the poorest groups. (Read on …)

From Judge to Jailor, al-Ja’ashin Sheikh Again Terrorizes Villagers

Filed under: Tribes, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:35 am on Friday, February 13, 2009

HOOD

The tragic ordeal in al-Ja’ashin continues as villagers continue to face aggression from Sheik Mansour in the al-Ansieen province of Ibb. Sheik Mohammed Mansour is continuously demanding that villagers pay him taxes on a variety of pretexts. He has confiscated their possessions, and residents are again displaced outside the village. (Read on …)

One Third of Yemenis Chronically Hungry

Filed under: Demographics, Donors, UN, Yemen, Yemen-Economy, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 3:25 pm on Thursday, February 5, 2009

A very stark stat that is increasing

Yemen Times To help the over half a million poor Yemenis affected by high and volatile food prices, the United Nations’ (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) is to deliver USD 24 million worth of food aid to eight governorates in Yemen…One in three Yemenis now suffers from chronic hunger, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s 2008 State of Food Insecurity report…

The WPF office in Yemen conducted a survey in mid-2008 which showed that poor Yemeni families were forced to spend up to 65 percent of their income of food, at the cost of children’s health and education.

The WFP’s emergency relief program in Yemen will target two groups. First, the organization will provide nutritional supplements to under-fives as well as under-twos and nursing mothers in specific districts. Second, it will ensure targeted food distribution to the country’s poorest families as determined by previous surveys.

AIDS Increases as Poverty Fuels Prostitution

Filed under: Demographics, Medical, Religious, Women's Issues, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 10:01 pm on Thursday, January 8, 2009

The hesitance to acknowledge there is prostitution trade in Yemen is part of the reason why more people are getting infected with this sexually transmitted disease. As the article notes, some young girls are driven by poverty to turn to the streets to make money to eat. AIDS is also transmitted by homosexual sex, another taboo topic. The use of condoms significantly reduces the odds of getting aids from an infected partner as well as being a reasonably effective method of birth control. But its such a conservative society that getting even these basic facts to the public become more difficult. It doesn’t make a country look bad when it deals with its problems, but often the tendency is to sweep these difficult issues under the rug.

IRIN

Yemen is ranked 153 out of 177 countries on the UN Development Programme’s (UNDP’s) 2007-08 Human Development Index. According to the Poverty Assessment Report 2007 prepared by the UNDP, the World Bank and the Yemeni government, the percentage of poor people among Yemen’s 21 million population stood at 34.8 percent. According to the UNDP office in Yemen, 15.7 percent of the population lives on less than US$1 a day and 45.2 percent live on less than US$2 a day.

Khaled Abdul-Majid, a programme officer at the UNDP office in Sanaa, said state institutions lacked the capacity to tackle HIV/AIDS, adding: “When there are not enough jobs, young people feel they have no future. Some resort to prostitution.” He also said internal and external migration had played a role in spreading the virus.

Commercial sex work on the rise

Some 16 percent of Yemen’s 21 million population lives on less than US$1 a day and 45 percent lives on less than US$2 a day, according to UNDP

Suad al-Qadasi, chair of the Women’s Forum for Research and Training (WFRT), a local NGO, said prostitution and commercial sex work had begun to increase rapidly over the past three years.

“But Yemen is a conservative community which does not acknowledge this phenomenon. This is a problem in itself,” she told IRIN.

The WFRT recently conducted a survey on commercial sex work but found that people were not willing to admit to its existence. “Denying it is a problem as awareness rests on acknowledging that the phenomenon exists,” Suad said, warning that if the situation continued, HIV/AIDS would be rife.

According to the US Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2006, Yemeni children were trafficked internally for sexual exploitation, and Yemen was also a destination country for trafficked Iraqi women.

Qat in Yemen: 72% of Men X 6 hours a day

Filed under: Demographics, Qat, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 9:57 am on Friday, December 26, 2008

Spending 28% of income in low income homes.
Some children start chewing as young as seven.

Yemen Times

Julie G. Viloria-Williams has over 25 years of experience with the World Bank in sustainable people-based development. She held positions in Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Eastern and Central Asian countries before becoming the Middle East and North Africa regional expert in September last year. She is the team leader in the Qat dialogue task in Yemen, which represents the World Bank’s assistance to Yemen in dealing with this issue. Her job involves research into the issues and development needs of countries within the MENA region, and identification of potential threats, especially on the issues that affect the livelihood of citizens.

“Because of the urgency of the Qat problem in Yemen, it has become the World Bank’s fourth pillar in the bank’s new country assistance strategy along with growth, governance and the Millenium Development Goals,” she said. Based on the December country assistance strategy consultation, the World Bank’s assistance to Yemen will take the form of grants, rather than loans, to be provided over the next three years.

During her recent visit to Yemen, Viloria-Williams met with the various stakeholders and discussed with them the issue of Qat. She also attended some focus groups, during which she realized just how deep the problem is.

“In many families children as young as seven start chewing because of parental influence, especially because mothers, who are usually uneducated, think of Qat as means to bind their children to the family,” she said.

As a part of its campaign against Qat, the WB will be producing a documentary on Qat in Yemen, in both Arabic and English, she anticipates that it will be broadcast on Yemeni TV among other media channels in a bid to spread awareness.

Size of the problem

According to a detailed survey carried out by the World Bank in mid 2006, 72 percent of men and 33 percent of women chew Qat for an average of 6 hours per day. Qat absorbs 10 percent of the average household income and over 28 percent for low income groups. Qat production, trade and consumption accounts for 10 percent of GDP, and is the cause of many health problems. The study sampled more than four thousand Yemenis from around the Republic. (Read on …)

Donors Boost Aid

Filed under: Donors, UN, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 6:43 pm on Sunday, December 7, 2008

News Yemen

The General Inspector of the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees Naser Ishaq said donor countries have worked on raising donations given to refugee in Yemen from $ 4 million to 17 million, official Saba agency reported.

In a meeting with the Secretary General of Aden Local Council Abdul-Karim Shaef Wednesday, the UNHCR official said the UNHCR understands troubles refugees cause to Yemen, especially those fleeing from the camps, but UNHCR will help Yemen solve the problem.

Shaef affirmed necessity of setting up controlling measures to refugees’ camps for easing the process of counting them, knowing their needs and allocating food and assistances to them, indicating annoyance to the authority caused by refugees who leave their camps.

Yemeni official called on the UNHCR to build capacities of refugees to help them get work in order promoting their living standards.

ADEN, NewsYemen

The representative of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Sana’a Jian Carlo has announced the WFP will increase aid for the poor communities and African refugees in Yemen over the next two years to $ 50 million, said official Saba.

In a meeting with deputy governor of Aden Ahmed Salim Rabie, Carlo affirmed that his current visit to Aden comes to support and expand the WFP activities in the province.

The meeting brought up the burden the influx of African refugees lays on Yemen’s economy and the WFP efforts to provide assistance for the poor and African refugees in Yemen.

WFP also said it would contribute to distributing the food aid for the rain-affected people in Hadramout.

WFP said it had signed an agreement with the local authority in Hadramout on a mechanism to deliver foodstuff assistance to flooded people in every district of Hadramout.

Almost 3452 people were terribly affected of heavy rains that hit Hadramout and al-Mahra last October.

Ration cards for rain-affected families granted in Mukala

MUKALA, Dec. 06 (Saba) – Families affected by heavy rains that afflicted the eastern provinces late October are about to start receiving ration cards in the town of Mukala to be able to obtain aid materials.

The move comes according to measures approved by the Relief and Shelter Committee set up in the wake of the catastrophe to organize the process of distribution aid materials for beneficiaries.

The committee has earlier finished the counting process to ensure all affected families get aid for long time.

Director General of the town Salim Saleh Abdul Haq has urged the affected families to go to receive their ration cards so that they head to the aid distribution centers to receive their monthly food allowances.

Earlier the committee distributed cooking tools for registered families of those whose homes were destroyed either partly or completely.

Almost a month ago, Heavy rains lashed several parts of the republic killing people and destroying homes and lands.

Yemen did its utmost to deal with the catastrophe with assistance from regional and world states and is currently preparing rebuilding schemes.

UN Appeals for USD 11 Million to Aid 650,000 Flood Victims in Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, Enviornmental, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 9:36 pm on Monday, November 10, 2008

Relief Web: Humanitarian agencies appeal for $11.5 million to help flood survivors in Yemen

(New York, 10 November 2008): United Nations agencies in partnership with nongovernmental organizations today appealed for $11.5 million to enable them provide humanitarian aid to an estimated 650,000 people affected by the recent severe floods in Yemen.

Torrential rainfall lashed eastern Yemen on 24-25 October causing floods that inundated villages, killing at least 73 people, and destroying homes, crops and other property. The Wadi Hadramout valley and coastal areas were particularly hard hit. At least 3,264 houses, made mainly of mud bricks, were totally destroyed or damaged beyond repair, leaving between 20,000 and 25,000 people without shelter. Hundreds of other homes have been rendered unfit for human habitation.

The funding sought under the Yemen Floods Response Plan will be used to assist those affected with food, water and sanitation, health and nutrition services, shelter, protection and education. The plan comprises projects proposed by seven United Nations agencies, the International Organization for Migration, and two non-governmental organizations in coordination with the Government of Yemen.

Survivors also need help to restore their means of livelihood quickly. Funding needs for early recovery efforts will be identified in the coming weeks in consultation with the Government of Yemen. Several health facilities and an estimated 166 schools and educational facilities were damaged or destroyed. Flood water caused extensive damage to local agriculture and honey production.

The timeline for the humanitarian assistance will range from two to six months, with the food assistance expected to extend until the next harvest in April 2009. Assistance provided by the UN and NGOs will focus primarily on short-term humanitarian assistance, while addressing the outstanding gaps in immediate assistance and initiating the first activities related to post-floods early recovery.

US Flood Aid: USD 350,000

SANA’A, NewsYemen

The United States of America, through the Office of Foreign Disaster Relief, has disbursed $299,000 to the United Nations to support their disaster relief efforts for victims of the flooding in Hadramout and Mahra governorates, a press release sent by the U.S Embassy in Sana’a on Sunday said.

In addition, the United States Agency for International Development has re-deployed five of its Mobile Health Teams to the affected areas. Three have been sent to Sah, and the remaining two have been sent to Tarim. Each Mobile Health Team can care for 50 to 70 patients a day, it said.

The press release said these funds and services add to the $50,000 in emergency funding provided by the United States in late October to the World Food Program for the delivery of emergency food and supplies to the region.

The Embassy of the United States in Sana’a continues to coordinate with the Government of Yemen, the United Nations, and the international non-governmental organization community to determine how best to provide emergency relief to the victims of this disaster, said the Embassy.

5 million hungry

Filed under: Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:14 am on Thursday, November 6, 2008

7th space:

TAHA AL-AWADHI ( Yemen) said that, like other developing countries, his own was grappling with the current global financial and food crises. Yemen was suffering from a real crisis in which 5 million people were affected by hunger, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). Families could not send their children to school because they could not afford school fees. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), increases in wheat price in 2008 had threatened the country’s ability to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Yemen had a medium-term plan for food security.

Stressing the importance of international cooperation in addressing food security concerns, and appealing for increased assistance, including seeds, for developing countries, he said developed countries should also help in other aspects of agriculture. Yemen had adopted a 2006-2011 national plan to reduce poverty, guarantee social services and strengthen governance. However, the country would not be able to achieve the Millennium Goals by 2015 due to the challenges it faced, particularly the food and climate change crises. Reduced official development assistance, debt and the lack of technology transfer had compounded those problems.

He appealed for the fulfilment of commitments by developed countries to allocate 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product to official development assistance and 0.2 per cent specifically to least developed countries. Yemen, having held an initiative to alleviate external debt, invited development partners to cancel the debt owed by developing countries. As for climate change, the country had been exposed two weeks ago to flooding that had caused the deaths of thousands in addition to the mass destruction of homes, roads and water networks.

Red Crescent Stealing Humanitarian Aid, MSF Blocked from Marran

Filed under: Civil Society, Refugees, Saada War, Security Forces, poverty/ hunger, theft: land other — by Jane Novak at 8:41 am on Monday, October 27, 2008

Military violating truce agreements still. Yemen Times

SA’ADA, Oct.25 — Tribal sources from the Sa’ada governorate have said that the state of people, particularly those who are loyal to Houthis, is worsening due to the advent of winter and the continuous siege imposed by security authorities and tribes supporting the government in the area.

“A military checkpoint in Sa’ada governorate’s Al-Malahidh area prevented a medical unit belonging to medical humanitarian aid agency Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) from entering to Marran, Haidan and Saqain areas to offer medical aid to the affected citizens,” according to a statement issued by Houthis media center last Tuesday.

The statement said, “The Al-Malahidh checkpoints, in addition to the Al-Majram military site in the mountainous area of Marran, have recently witnessed military reinforcements”. It accused security apparatuses of practicing violations since the agreement to end the fifth war in Sa’ada.

According to the statement, new military sites have been set up in the areas bordering Marran from the Al-Malahidh area and confirmed that arrests had taken place in Sana’a and Mareb during the last two days. (Read on …)

Educational Opportunities Restricted

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Education, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:23 am on Monday, September 1, 2008

Yemen Times

SANA’A, Aug. 27 — An official from the General Union of Yemeni Students at Sana’a and Amran Universities has announced that following a five-day sit-in, Sana’a University’s rector has heeded the demands of protesting students.

The demands included raising the enrollment capacity, decreasing the required high school grade point average (GPA) and adding 125 seats to the public system of the Faculty of Science, all with the goal of increasing student enrollment. Sana’a University administration also has accepted registering 200 more students in the public system at its Faculty of Commerce and Economy and 300 in the parallel system. According to a statement by the General Union of Yemeni Students, university administration canceled 1,865 seats in the public system and 104 in the parallel system, thereby decreasing the university’s capacity and causing the students to protest between Aug. 19 and 25. Ridwan Masoud, head of the General Union of Yemeni Students, claims that the university is restricting access to education for less privileged students by decreasing acceptance rates in the parallel system and raising those for the public system. (Read on …)

Child Workers

Filed under: Children, Employment, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 12:10 am on Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Government study shows 30000 children working in 8 Yemeni provinces

SANA’A, Aug. 15 (Saba) – A recent study has shown that 30000 children working in the streets of eight Yemeni provinces.

According to the study, prepared by the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood in cooperation with the Arab Council for Childhood and Development, the majority of street children are aged between 6 -14 years and the rate of male children reached 70 per cent.

The official study said that the causes of the emergence of street children in the capital Sana’a, Aden, Taiz, Hajjah, Hodeida, Saada, Dhamar and Hadhramout were poverty, unemployment, family disintegration and parental absence due to divorce or death.

The study also pointed out that family disputes, violence against women, mistreatment of children, domestic migration and lack of social services were other causes of the phenomenon.

The study mentioned that the street children work as street vendors, cars washers, cleaners and beggars in addition to working in markets, restaurants, laundries and furnaces.

According to the study, diseases affecting the street children included malaria, diarrhea, various infections, diabetes, anemia, pains of spinal and back, liver and skin diseases and headaches and stomach pains.

Black Yemenis Face Ongoing Extreme Marginalization, Racial Discrimination

Filed under: Civil Rights, Demographics, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 11:37 am on Monday, July 21, 2008

Of all the marginalized groups in Yemen, none is more so then black Yemenis who are called akhdam, which means servants, seriously. The Akdam are thought to be of Ethiopian descent and have been in Yemen for centuries, yet to achieve integration or equality. The racial discrimination is so dramatic and engrained its hardly noticed. The reason they work as street sweepers is no one will hire them for anything else. Children are excluded from public schools. They are a sub-caste of society.

IRIN: SANAA, 21 July 2008 (IRIN) – Police moved into a slum area of Sanaa city on 20 July to try to evict several hundred impoverished people who had moved into the area saying they could not longer afford to pay rent.

Police used a tractor to demolish about 10 tin shacks, according to Saad Ahmed Salem, a slum leader, but did not succeed in evicting any of the roughly 200 families in the slum. (Read on …)

Food Insecurity in Yemen

Filed under: Agriculture, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 10:38 pm on Monday, June 2, 2008

Yemen Post

Official statistics reveal that Yemen imports of cereals reached 3,388,326 tons over the last year at a total value of YR 194 billion, about $975 million.

According to Ministry of Trade and Industry’s report, the Yemen Company for Flour Mills & Silos is the chief importer, followed by the Yemen Economic Corporation. (Read on …)

Grinding Poverty

Filed under: Yemen-Statistics, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:09 pm on Saturday, May 17, 2008

26 Sept

Yemen said on Friday it faces difficulties in achieving the goals “Millennium Development” in 2015 despite poverty rate had declined from 40.1 percent to 34.8 percent of the 22 million population.

In its annual report, Social Affairs and Labour Ministry pointed out the high rate of population growth had kept the number of poor people at approximately seven million people, noting the decreased of poverty level is still simple comparing with the objectives of Millennium Development. Its first goal requires reducing the number
of poor people to half.

The report confirmed that Yemen needs $49.5 billion to be able to meet the objectives of Millennium Development. According to the report, the Yemeni government is currently working to find the base funds for many development programs and projects.

77,000 Still Displaced in Saada, UK Donates 1.4 Million

Filed under: Donors, UN, Refugees, Saada War, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 6:24 pm on Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The deal is falling apart. Neither the rebels or the government is withdrawing.

Yemen Observer

The British government donated US $ 1.4 million to help people displaced by the conflict of Sa’ada, said the World Food program WFP last Thursday.

WFP welcomed a donation from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) of US$1.45 million (£730,000), to help feed thousands of people displaced by the conflict in Sa’ada Governorate in northwestern Yemen. “We are deeply grateful for such a generous contribution, which will allow us to continue our work in support of the displaced people,” said Mohamed El-Kouhene, WFP Representative in Yemen.

The operation which started in September 2007, provides assistance to 77,000 people displaced by conflict in the region. Displaced families left their homes with few resources and many have little or no income to meet their food and other household needs. Many of them live with host families in Sa’ada city or in camps near the city.

The donation is extremely timely as WFP is facing shortfalls in the operation. It comes as a response to an urgent appeal for funds that WFP made last December. “The UK is pleased to be able to help Yemenis in need and support the vital work of WFP, providing food assistance to the people displaced in Sa’ada. We urge all involved to help bring about a rapid resolution to the situation so that those affected can return home and resume their everyday lives,” said Shahid Malik, UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development.

(Read on …)

Statistics on Yemen’s Economy, Food Scarcity

Filed under: Agriculture, Yemen, Yemen-Economy, Yemen-Statistics, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:08 pm on Tuesday, April 15, 2008

YT

The skyrocketing prices of wheat, cereals, and other grains have had a tremendous impact on populations reliant on the international markets to supply the needed grains, and Yemen has been affected significantly where the price of a 50-kg sack of wheat has increased from 3300 in the end of 2007 to over 7200 today. This increase affects primarily families which spend most of their income on basic foods and necessities, and now having to stretch their budgets more in order to be able to continue to afford buying the same quantities of food.

In explaining the bigger picture, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) indicated that the growth in global demand for grains is increasing by 3 %, while production is at lower rates, and have increased to 2.6% this year as grain producing countries slightly increase their grain plantations. This indicates that the gap in supply will continue to push the prices of grain higher, forcing grain importing countries like Yemen to rather pay a bigger bill or start searching for other sources of grain, including reliance on domestic production.
(Read on …)

700,000 Kids Working in Cities

Filed under: Children, Employment, Yemen, Yemen-Statistics, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 4:17 pm on Thursday, April 10, 2008

Not counting agricultural work

Mareb

A governmental study reveals that about 700 thousands Yemeni children between 4-14 years old are working in streets of main cities because the poverty.

The Central System for Counting in Yemen, International Labour Organization, Social Fund for Development, and UNICEF are preparing to launch a wide field survey for child labour.

The survey aims to create a database clarifying the size of this phenomenon in Yemen which reports say it is increasing during the last years because of the deterioration of living status and the spread of the poverty.

The recent study issued by Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour said that the rate of child labor in Yemen last year increased from 400 thousand working children in 2000 to 700 thousand children working in jobs that do not fit with ages.

The study reveals that about 2 million children drop out of schools.

46% Poverty Rate in Yemen

Filed under: Employment, Yemen, Yemen-Statistics, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 10:12 am on Thursday, April 10, 2008

YT

SANA’A, April 20 — More than six percent of Yemenis have dropped below the poverty line due to rising staple food prices, joining the 40 percent of Yemenis already living on less than $2 per day, Yemen’s country director for the World Food Program, or WFP, said at a press conference Saturday.

Additionally, there are few viable methods available to the average Yemeni family to help cope with the recent increased risk of starvation.

“Coping mechanisms are limited to skipping essential needs, so it either affects the food basket or health and education,” said Mohamed El-Kouhene, Yemen’s WFP country director, adding, “If we don’t do something now, Millennium Development Goals will be set back 70 years.”

In order to feed their families, those Yemenis living below the poverty line will have to either skip meals, decrease their intake of fruits, vegetables and meat, or discontinue medical visits and schooling for their children, he noted.

The state of the nation’s food instability, which has increased due to price hikes, has become more precarious as the $28 million gap between the WFP’s budget and Yemen’s need continues to grow.

Although the Yemeni government has been attempting reforms in water management and increasing agricultural output, these efforts aren’t enough to stave off hunger for the majority of the population, as both rural and urban residents are affected.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick urged developed nations to contribute the promised $500 million in emergency donations to the WFP in a press statement made on April 9. “This isn’t just a question of short-term needs, as important as they are,” Zoellick stated to the Associated Press. “This is about ensuring that future generations don’t pay a price too.”

Between June 2007 and March 2008, the price of basic cereals has increased 55 percent worldwide, according to El-Kouhene.

A major factor contributing to the global rise in grain prices are energy and oil prices, which affect everything from food production to processing to transportation.

With oil prices reaching new heights, El-Kouhene expects food prices to increase as well, climbing for several months before stabilizing.

While there have been reports of field workers bribing beneficiaries or stealing food, El-Kouhene says the WFP has a strong monitoring system, noting that when commodities disappeared from one WFP warehouse last year, they were restituted quickly.

Other problems, such as water shortage and using arable land for qat production, are under government review, but the 46 percent of Yemenis living in dire poverty don’t have the luxury of waiting for solutions.

Rural Child Malnutrition, 3.2 Million child workers, other stats

Filed under: Children, Employment, Yemen, Yemen-Statistics, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 9:14 am on Saturday, April 5, 2008

Three million kids working

Al-Sahwa

Alsahwa.net

March 31, 2008 – A recent statistic prepared by Child Labor Office in 6 Yemeni governorates estimated child labor about 189000 children.

The study made clear that most children work in farming;38,000 in Ibb, 29,000 in Sana’a, 27,000 in Dhamar, 28,000 in Amran, 20,000 in Hodaida.

An official report issued recently by the Shoura Council pointed out that the child labor growth in Yemen is 3 percent.

,indicating that child labor extensively centers in the field of agriculture by 92%, while 4.8% work in services , 2.5% of them are non-professional employment.

The report also explained that children work for over 17 hours a day and receive low wages.

According to a statistics prepared in 2003, the number of child labor reached 3,2 million children. Law prohibits child labor in some occupations.

According to Yemen’s law, the established minimum age for employment is 15 years in contrary to the international law which identifies that with 18 years.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor estimated in 2000 that 400,000 children work in occupations which do not fit their ages and about 2,000,000

Yemen Observer

Yemeni children under one year of age are especially prone to malnutrition, according to a Sana’a University study conducted by a group of researchers at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Science.

The study was conducted on child patients younger than ten years of age from a number of governmental hospitals in Sana’a. “This research was aimed to assess and quantify the magnitude of inequalities in under-ten child malnutrition, particularly those ascribable to socio-economic status and gastroenteritis, to consider the policy implications of these findings,” said Dr. Ubada Jum’a, one of the researchers involved in the study.

About 53 percent of Yemen’s population,with more than 24,000 Yemeni children under the age of five, are estimated to suffer from malnutrition, according to officials of the Country Program, run by the United Nations World Food Programme in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Health and Population and the Ministry of Education. The Country Program is expected to be implemented in Yemen during the next five years.

The World Health Organization defines malnutrition as the cellular imbalance between supply of nutrients and energy and the body’s demand for them to ensure proper growth, maintenance and specific bodily functions.

A child becomes malnourished because of illness in combination with inadequate food intake. Insufficient access to food, poor health services, the lack of safe water and sanitation and inadequate child and maternal care are underlying causes.

More than 1.1 billion people in the world lack access to safe drinking water and some 2.9 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation. This results in the spread of infectious diseases, including childhood diarrhea, which in turn are major causes of malnutrition.

Malnutrition contributes to over 6 million deaths of children each year of the nearly 12 million deaths among children under five in developing countries. Half of all children under five years of age in South Asia and one third of those in sub-Saharan Africa are malnourished.

Poor eating habits or lack of available food may lead to malnutrition. Malnutrition occurs in children who are either undernourished or overnourished. Children who are overnourished may become overweight or obese, which may lead to long-term health problems and social stress. Malnutrition can occur because of the lack of a single vitamin in the diet, or it can be because a person isn’t getting enough food.

Malnutrition also occurs when adequate nutrients are consumed in the diet, but one or more nutrients are not digested or absorbed properly.

The Yemeni study found that most cases of malnourishment, 44 percent are found in children less than six months of age with about 33 percent of children between 7 months and one year old are suffering from malnutrition. Children between one to five years of age suffer less from malnutrition than other age groups, with a rate of 22 percent, the study found.

According to the study, most of the malnourished children, 76 percent, come from various rural areas, while just 25 percent are found to be living in cities. Since the highest rate of malnourished children is found in rural areas, this can be interpreted and being caused by the parents’ lack of education. It was found that 89 percent of the mothers were not educated, while just 3 percent of the fathers were highly educated.

The family’ socioeconomic condition plays an important role in affecting children’s nutrition, as about 33 percent of affected children were living in a low socioeconomic state.

The study noted that about 23 percent of malnourished children suffered from respiratory problems after delivery and 29 percent of them had gastrointestinal tract (GIT) troubles. Moreover, it is important to note that just 45 percent of the children were breast feeding, while 33 percent were fed with artificial milk and 22 percent were fed with both, the study said.

“It’s also interesting to know that more than 40 percent of malnourished children had stopped breast feeding before reaching one year of age. This may be the main cause of malnutrition and inadequate nutrient intake,” said Dr. Jum’a.

Vaccination is very important for protecting children from many diseases. The study also found that 50 percent of the children did not receive regular vaccinations.

Gastroenteritis was found to be the most prevalent cause of malnutrition in Yemen as about 64 percent of cases were found to be due to gastroenteritis and 22 percent were due to abnormal dietary intake. These causes have a correlation with breast feeding and the family’s low education and poor socioeconomic conditions.

Yemen is one of the least developed countries in the world. Its widespread nutritional deficit is likely the result of Yemen’s extremely low national income, as well as the poor state of education in the country. The fact that roughly 50 percent of families’ income goes towards qat is also a factor. In 2005 the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ranked Yemen 151st out of 177 in the list of countries on the Human Development Index.

According to the UN World Food Programme, almost half the people in Yemen do not have enough to eat. About 40 percent of Yemen’s population of 22 million lives below the poverty line on less than $2 per day. Moreover, opportunities to receive education and health care are limited, especially in rural areas, where 88 percent of women and 36 percent of men are illiterate, the report shows.

The World Bank has noted that the average annual income was only $450 in 2003, and Yemen’s unemployment rate was close to 40 percent in that same year. “Malnutrition is one of the main challenges in Yemen, where 46 percent – almost half – of the children are underweight,” said Naseem Ur-Rehman, communications coordinator at UNICEF’s Sana’a office. “The magnitude of the problem is huge, as underweight children are particularly vulnerable to diseases, compounding the issue.”

Health indicators also reveal other serious problems. The number of mothers who die during childbirth is increasing faster than in the world’s most underdeveloped countries. In 2005, the infant mortality rate (for babies under 1 year of age) was 76 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to UNICEF. The rate for children under five was 102.

The study’s researchers think that prevention of malnutrition in children starts with an emphasis on prenatal nutrition and good prenatal care. Health care providers should emphasize the importance of breastfeeding in the first year of life.

In addition to the promotion of breastfeeding, health care providers should counsel parents on the appropriate introduction of nutritious supplemental foods, the researchers said.

The study, supervised by Dr. Mohammed al-Naeb who is an assistant professor in the Community Medicine Department, recommended paying more attention to those children who are at risk of nutritional deficiency. According to the study, they should be referred to a registered dietitian or other nutritional professional for a complete nutritional assessment and dietary counseling.

The study was conducted by Ubada Jum’a, Qutaiba Lutfi, and Amer Attia.

Protest in the Capital

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 12:25 am on Sunday, March 30, 2008

What is the Common Forum? Is that the new name for the JMP or is that the stooge opposition coalition?

Thousands of Yemenis protest soaring prices, corruption

AFP
SANAA (AFP) — Thousands of Yemenis gathered on Thursday to protest at rising prices, accusing the government of failing to curb the increasing cost of living and corruption, an AFP correspondent reported.

Answering a call by the Common Forum, which includes five main opposition parties, over 10,000 protestors took to the streets of Sanaa chanting slogans denouncing the government.

“Oh, corrupt government, high prices have overwhelmed the country,” protestors yelled, calling upon President Ali Abdullah Saleh to honour earlier electoral promises of fighting poverty in one of the world’s poorest countries.

The Common Forum issued a statement during the protest saying that the gathering was a “cry by the people to reflect their suffering of the horrific deterioration of their standard of living in light of soaring prices, unemployment, and organised corruption.”

The gathering was not the first protest against the rising cost of living.

In August, thousands of Yemenis waved bread loaves as they staged a sit-in organised by opposition parties in the southern town of Taiz to protest at rocketing prices and to demand better services.

Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Majur had vowed that he will no longer tolerate corruption as he was sworn into office last April.

Child Labor 60% in Yemen

Filed under: Children, Employment, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:32 am on Monday, March 24, 2008

SANA’A, March 22 (Saba) - UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Sigrid Kaag confirmed on Saturday the UNICEF’s interest to support plans and programs of Yemeni government to improve children and women’s status in Yemen.

Upon her arrival to Sana’a on Friday in an official visit, Kaag said that she would discuss with Yemeni officials assistance the UNICEF may provide for Yemen to improve children conditions and their health and education future.

The UNICEF really care for Yemeni children, she said, adding that we seek to reduce children labor in Yemen, which reached 60 percent among children under age 18.

Hungry working and sick

Ramzeah al-Aryani, Head of the Federation of Yemeni Women, said that around 84,000 children under the age of five die annually in Yemen due to malnutrition or lack of adequate health care. This figure means that about 250 children die every day. Forty percent of children in Yemen are suffering from anemia, weight loss and nutritional deficiencies. These problems exist as a consequence of global price increases which causes untold suffering for children and mothers.

Prices Up 400%

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 6:55 am on Monday, March 17, 2008

Yemen Observer

Around seventy five percent of Yemenis suffer from food deprivation due to price increases which have risen by 400 percent, said Fadhel Mansour, Vice-President of the NGO Yemen Society for Consumer Protection.

Mansour delivered a speech on the occasion of World Day of the Consumer, which is observed on the fifteenth of March of each year, at an event organized by the Yemen Society for Consumer Protection last Saturday.

Our Daily Bread

Filed under: Business, Civil Unrest, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 10:25 am on Thursday, March 6, 2008

Yemen Times:

SANA’A, March 3 — Bread prices have jumped to YR 20 per loaf instead of YR 10, thereby constituting a 100-percent increase. As a result, Yemenis have strongly denounced the sudden and unexpected increase in bread prices, particularly as bread is one of the basic commodities in their everyday life.

“We’re shocked at the sudden rise in bread prices, but we’re obliged to buy it at such a high price because no one can dispense with bread, a necessity at every meal,” citizen Abdullah Qutaina observed, “Bread prices have doubled while loaf weight varies from one bakery to another.

“Unfortunately, bakeries don’t produce bread according to a standard weight,” he added, urging concerned government authorities to put a stop to the skyrocketing prices of basic foodstuffs, particularly, wheat, flour, cooking oil, milk, rice and sugar.

“From today onward, we must fast every day or reduce our three meals a day to one. Instead of buying 30 pieces of French bread for breakfast at YR 300, we now pay YR 600 for the same quantity and it’s the same for each meal, lamented widow Mariam Al-Tawili. “Because my late husband’s pension is only YR 30,000, I don’t know how it can cover our daily expenses throughout the month.” She went on to say that, “For us, daily expenses have become unaffordable. We don’t know if there are possible solutions to this situation, but we hope the bread prices stop here.”

Yemen to Export Workers To Gulf States

Filed under: GCC, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 11:18 pm on Sunday, February 24, 2008

SANA’A.(26SeptemberNet) – Labor Ministers in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) endorsed today in coordinated meeting on the sidelines of the 35 session of the Arab Labour Conference in Sharm El Sheikh to give priority to Yemeni employment in the labour in the Gulf market. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) agreed at their coordinating earlier opening of the conference that priority will be given to Yemeni employment according to the needs of Gulf labour market of qualified cadres and competencies and expertise in various specialties.

The agenda of the conference includes 12 items to be discussed in the report of the Director-General of the Arab Labor Organization about the operation and unemployment in the Arab countries and a report on the activities and achievements during the Arab Labor Organization in 2007.

During the sessions of the conference, which extend a week research in the small and medium projects as an option to reduce unemployment, and discuss the plan of the Arab Labor Organization for the years 2009 / 2010, which includes 164 projects along with three strategic projects which are: the rural woman operation fund, the promotion of social dialogue, the development of labour statistics in the Arab world.

Wheat to be mixed with other compounds (grains we hope)

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 10:01 pm on Saturday, February 16, 2008

90% of the Yemeni diet is wheat.

Yemen Times

SANA’A, Feb.- 11 — The General Authority for Research and Agricultural Guidance (GARAG) at the Ministry of Agriculture is working on a study to replace wheat flour with other cereal flour like corn, legumes or potatoes for producing bread in Yemen. This kind of technique is called the composite flour technique.

‘’Applying this technique in Yemen, even with 10% of flour resources, will save tens of million of dollars consumed by the country in importing the wheat flour,’’ said Dr. Ismail Muharram, chief of the GARAG in a workshop conducted in Sana’a on Sunday, in which 25 participants attended from the ministries of Irrigation and Agriculture, Industry, Planning and International Cooperation, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Economic Institution, as well as a number of agriculture researchers.

In Yemen, annual wheat flour imports comprise 90-95% of people’s dietary needs. Bread is considered the main staple for Yemeni people. The daily individual bread consumption is 63 grams, a low amount when compared with quantities consumed by people in ten high bread-consuming countries where quantities range from 277 grams in Belgium to 489 grams in Turkey, except that those countries are self-sufficient in wheat production. The statistics, issued in a report written by the Agriculture Research Authority, indicated a food gap in Yemen and an apparent imbalance between food production and consumption, and a resulting imbalance in food supply and demand. This caused the government to close the gap by importing wheat flour, costing the country millions of dollars annually.

According to the report, the main reasons behind the food gap are the following:

- Increase in annual population growth rate (3.1%).

- Limitation in agricultural lands (1-1.6 million hectares).

- Decrease in cereal agriculture areas and increase in farmers’ tendency to plant a higher income-generating yields directed to the market (internally and externally).

- The country’s trend toward economic reform that guarantees free market enterprise and prevents government support of farmers and agriculture.

- Expansion of construction projects into farms across the country.

- Occurrence of important changes in consumption patterns that led to increasing the demand on certain yields most importantly wheat products.

The report also stated that ‘’ implementing the composite flour technique in Yemen according to the scientific studies obtained by the center in the last years can be done by replacing 10% – 30% of wheat flour with different types of corn and millet flour, considering the type of the wheat flour (quantitative and qualitative protein percentage) as well as the required bread to be produced. It is also possible to replace 20 % – 30% of wheat flour with thin corn flour and other cereals for baking cakes and biscuits.’’

Based on expected quantities to be imported in 2008, which might reach 1,666,500 tons at an average of $385 per ton. Replacing 10% of wheat flour imports with locally produced thin maize flour will save an estimated $64 million.

The price of wheat flour has risen to its highest level since 1996. This is because of a huge increase in demand and fears of a decline in international productivity, which could cause wheat- importing countries like Yemen to suffer.

First Al-Jawf Demonstration

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Tribes, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 9:57 pm on Saturday, February 16, 2008

Yemen Times

- Al-Jawf governorate organizes peaceful uprising against wealth robbery and exploitation of government jobs

Thousands of citizens staged a huge rally Tuesday in the Yemeni eastern province of Al-Jawf over what they called ‘exploitation of government jobs and wealth robbery by influential officials’ the weekly reported, adding that the event, believed to be the first of its kind in the governorate, took place at the Government Complex’s yard in Hazm city. The Islah Party’s Shoura Council Chairman and Festival’s preparatory committee head Al-Hasan Ali Abu Bakr said addressing the rally participants that “You are more able to make change and by your sincere efforts, we can make unprecedented victory over injustice and oppression.”

“We have trusted our political leadership and helped it take the highest job once again, but regretfully, it reversed our expectations and looted our national wealth and natural resources,” the weekly quoted Abu Bakr as saying. The man stressed the necessity of continuing the peaceful struggle irrespective of the challenges and obstacles expected to be standing in our way. “The false promises are impossible to gratify starving and thirsty people,” he commented in an implication to promises made by the General People Congress’s candidate ahead of 2006 presidential elections.

According to the weekly, Head of Islah Party’s Executive Office in Al-Jawf Abdulhamid Amer noted the nation is experiencing ‘a revolution of awareness about implications of the peaceful struggle and awakening of the Yemeni conscience’. He said that Yemeni people see that it is time to exterminate rampant corruption and property theft, as well as stop the irresponsible exploitation of military and security posts.

Somalis Get Food

Filed under: Refugees, Somalia, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 6:20 pm on Saturday, February 9, 2008

Well thats good, very good, but what about the Yemeni kids also starving?

Yemen Times

SANA’A, Feb. 6 — The UN World Food Program (WFP) announced on Wednesday that it was expanding its operation in Yemen to feed thousands more Somali refugees fleeing the conflict in their country.

“More and more people are arriving on Yemen’s shores after barely surviving the dangerous journey by boat. It is up to us to help them as Yemen’s economy is already overstretched,” said WFP Yemen Country Director Mohammed El-Kouhene.

Since 1992, African refugees, mostly Somalis, have been streaming into Yemen, crossing the Red Sea from the Horn of Africa. Many of them hope to make their way to the oil-rich Gulf states. Now, the Yemeni government says that with its limited resources, it is no longer able to cope with new arrivals and has urged the international community for more assistance.

The agency appealed for $4.4 million in funds for an operation running from February 2008 to January 2010 to provide a total of 5,000 metric tons of food to 43,500 of the most vulnerable refugees. This is up from the 33,000 it was previously helping.

In the past year alone, nearly 30,000 people landed in Yemen after crossing the Gulf of Aden, while more than 1,400 died or are missing and presumed dead. Most of the arrivals were Somalis, of whom many said conditions in Somalia were so bad that they felt they had to risk the sea crossing.

More than 670,000 people fled fighting in the Somali capital of Mogadishu in 2007. The WFP expects to feed 1.8 million people in Somalia in 2008, up from 1.53 million in 2007.

Upon their arrival in Yemen, the refugees receive food from the WFP for the first few days until they are moved to the refugee camp of Kharaz where they receive a monthly ration. In addition, the WFP provides supplementary food to malnourished children and pregnant and lactating mothers, as well as providing a midday meal to children in school.

“We are grateful that WFP is responding to the needs of an increasing number of refugees.

Now is the time when we most need international support,” said Yemen’s Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Abdulkarim Al-Ar’habi.

El-Kouhene said the recent increase in beneficiaries was based on the anticipated arrival of new refugees at transit centers in Yemen, as well as refugee population growth at the isolated Kharaz camp in Lahj Governorate, where job opportunities are scarce. To that end, the operation will also include food assistance in return for work and/or training to help refugees become more self-sufficient.

The operation will be implemented in cooperation with the government of Yemen and in partnership with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and various NGOs.

The WFP has provided around $400 million of food assistance to Yemen since 1967, when the country was split into North and South Yemen.

Wheat Price Manipulated

Filed under: Business, Civil Unrest, Ministries, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:23 pm on Monday, February 4, 2008

Ramadan 2006, same thing. The horders signed pledges not to do that anymore. The lack of inter-ministerial cooperation hindered any stronger measures.

Yemen Observer

More than seventy Yemeni trucks carrying huge amounts of Australian wheat were found on their way to warehouses located on the outskirts of Sana’a. These shipments were meant to monopolize Yemen’s wheat market, according to an informed security source.

This happened following recent reports released predicting an increase in wheat prices on the international markets. Wheat prices climbed to a record high of more than $10 per bushel on December 12, 2008, as strong demand had depleted the world supply. International reports also said that wheat railroad rates had increased from 2 to 6 percent per bushel on January 18, 2008.

However, the official website of the GPC ruling party stated that the hoarding of wheat stores were perfectly planned to trigger a market scarcity. It also spoke of a mafia organization that was allegedly monopolizing some important food commodities in order to create price hikes. These higher prices increase citizens’ sufferings as well as the state’s burden, acting to destabilize wheat price control procedures. According to the source, these are politically motivated measures.

“There are indications that there are intentional efforts to create unprecedented, politically motivated scarcities in wheat and cement,” said Gamil al-Jadabi, a reporter from Almotamar.net.
(Read on …)

Oil Subsidies High = Double Profit on Smuggling

Filed under: Crime, Oil, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:57 am on Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Diesel subsidies

2002 were YR42 billion
2003 were YR102 billion
2005 were YR134 billion
2007 were YR424 billion
2008 projected YR 408 billion.

Its Saleh and his thief partner, Tawfiq Abdul-Rahman, the sole distributor, keeping the price down so when they steal it and resell it, they make more profit. So they are stealing twice, once the oil and once the subsidy. Some estimates say diesel smuggling accounts cost Yemen 180 billion Yemeni Riyals annually. It goes straight to Saleh’s pocket.

250 Yemeni Children Die Every Day

Filed under: Children, Medical, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 2:24 pm on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

One of ten die before their fifth birthday.

IRIN

A new report by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said half of the world’s countries, including Yemen, are making insufficient progress towards Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4, which aims to reduce the global under-five mortality rate by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015.

The report ranked Yemen the 41st worst country in terms of its under-five child mortality rate, which is 100 deaths per 1,000 live births, while the infant mortality rate (under one) is 75 per 1,000.

Some 84,000 children under five die every year in Yemen, which is equivalent to 250 deaths every day.

The State of the World’s Children is an annual report issued by UNICEF. This year’s report was released on 22 January and entitled Child Survival.

UNICEF representative in Yemen Aboudou Karimu Adjibade said this year the State of the World’s Children brings into sharp focus issues surrounding child survival and “where we stand”.

“Many Yemeni children and women are victims of neglect, abuse, and exploitation. Discrimination prevails throughout the life cycle. The cumulative impact of some of these harmful practices is reflected in one of the highest rates of malnutrition among children, a very high maternal mortality rate, and we find Yemen trailing on the Human Development Index, sometimes even behind countries that have even worse economic indicators,” Adjibade said. (Read on …)

Raising Gas Prices While Selling Cheep Gas

Filed under: LNG, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 10:31 am on Monday, January 7, 2008

Is this a subsidy reduction? Or are they continuing the subsidy with public funds while pocketing the difference?

Al-Sahwa

January 2, 2008 – Well informed sources told Alsahwa.net that the government decided in its meeting held on Wednesday to raise gas prices to 25 percent.

Various Yemeni governorates witness a very sharp crisis of house gas.

The Yemeni Oil Ministry had declared that it would import domestic gas during the next years in order to meet the lack of domestic gas.

Meanwhile, economists considered such a government step a big failure, absence of strategic views and imbalance in taking decisions, pointing out that the government had signed a contracts of selling Yemeni gas with very low prices, emphasizing , in the meantime that the gas importation is a form of corruption of the ruling party’s government .

This is a good article from the Yemen Observer:

Yemenis welcomed the New Year with a sharp increase in propane gas prices. The government increased the price of a 20-liter cylinder of gas by 25 percent from YR400 to YR500 during its first meeting of 2008. “The increase was due to the increased price of gas in neighboring countries and the increase in international prices,” said Khalid Bahah, Minister of Oil and Minerals.

Bahah said that the government decided on this move due to the increase in gas prices in neighboring countries such as Somali and Djibouti, where prices have reached YR4200. “This increase will lead to the smuggling of gas to these countries and create a crisis,” Balah said, adding that smuggling would become more profitable than other necessary occupations, such as fishing. The gas price hike is also due to the spike in international prices which increased from $550 to $880 per ton as well as the increasing transportation costs which were raised from $70 to $130 per ton. These increases will strain the public budget Bahah said.

Currently the price of a gas cylinder is 17 percent of the actual price due to subsidies from the government. The real price for a 20-liter cylinder of gas is YR2360. With increasing gas prices, continued governmental subsidies for gas threaten to strain the public budget. Meanwhile consumption rate for gas increases annually by 6-8 percent. “Yemen produces 2,000 tons of gas daily and is preparing to set up a new laboratory with a capacity of 1,000 tons to face the rise in the rate of consumption,” Bahah said.

“Although the government supports the price of gas but the first beneficiary are not the people. Rather the traders of black market who smuggle gas to neighboring countries profit the most. The prices of gas in Saudi Arabia and Oman reached YR2000, and YR4200 in Somali and Djibouti,” said Dr. Najeeb al-Oge, Deputy General Manager of the Yemen Gas Company.

Yemen will receive around 30,000 tons of gas from Saudi Arabia next week as an endowment to help resolve the current gas crisis.

Al-Oge said that the governmental increase in the price of gas was small and would not substantially affect citizens economically. He added that the Yemen Gas Company had adopted a mechanism to distribute gas to people through direct selling from its trucks. This was implemented to create stability in the market and soon the Yemen Gas Company will sell gas to people in other governorates as well. Also many violators of market standards will be soon brought to court, according to al-Oge.

“Yemen is a developing country so any increase in basic materials such as gas will have many negative economic effects,” according to Dr. Taha al-Fosiel, economist at Sana’a University.

Hungry Yemeni Kids

Filed under: Children, Qat, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 4:51 pm on Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I hate this statistic, IRIN:

WFP says child malnutrition rates in Yemen are among the highest in the world SANAA, 11 December 2007 (IRIN) – An international report has said child malnutrition remains a concern in Yemen as nearly one-third of children aged 2-5 are severely stunted.

Entitled Yemen Poverty Assessment, the report was released in Yemen on 3 December. Prepared by Yemen’s government, the World Bank, and UN Development Programme (UNDP), it said poverty was associated with the prevalence of severe stunting and underweight among Yemeni children. It said data on severe stunting showed a greater disparity between urban and rural children than other types of malnutrition.

Ali al-Mudhwahi, director of the family health department at the Ministry of Health, told IRIN the stunting rate stood at 53.1 percent, wasting at 12.5 percent, and underweight accounted for 45.6 percent. These three indicators, he said, were used for measuring the malnutrition status for children under five. “There are 4.1 million children under five in Yemen,” he said.

According to the UN World Food Programme (WFP), child malnutrition rates in Yemen are amongst the highest in the world, with infant and under-five mortality rates estimated at 76 and 102 per 1,000 live births, respectively.

Qat (Read on …)

Poverty in Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:58 pm on Tuesday, December 4, 2007

IRIN

SANAA, 3 December 2007 (IRIN) – From what was historically known as `Arabia Felix’ – a land of prosperity and happiness – Yemen has become the most impoverished Arab country, a top-level international report says. It concluded that overall poverty reduction had been painstakingly slow and that people in urban areas had fared better than those in rural areas.

The report, prepared by Yemen’s government, the World Bank, and UN Development Programme (UNDP) and entitled Yemen Poverty Assessment, was released on 3 December in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital. Its findings were based on the Household Budget Survey which ran from April 2005 till March 2006.

The report said poverty in Yemen’s rural areas did not decline as much as it did in urban areas: The percentage of poor people declined from 42.4 percent in 1998 to 40.1 percent in 2005/06 in rural areas, but in urban areas poverty declined from 32.2 percent to 20.7 percent in the same period because urban areas benefited greatly from oil-led growth. (Read on …)

Tear Gas Used to Dispurse Protesters, Taiz Protests

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Employment, Security Forces, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 9:00 am on Thursday, November 15, 2007

Al-Sahwa

November 14, 2007- Lahj’s Security forces fired Wednesday tear gas dispersing a peaceful demonstration arranged by the Retired Soldier Associations.

During the protest, demonstrators shouted against corruption and demanded to release last protests detainees.

The chairman of the Retired Soldier Association, Qassem Othman, asked to hold all the involved in killing the protestors accountable.

The demonstrators further demanded to put an end to soaring prices, particularly necessary foodstuffs prices.

Taiz Uprising

TAIZ, Nov. 14 — Thousands of citizens gathered at premises of the local authority of Taiz governorate in the biggest protest ever seen in Yemen since the popular revolution against the British Occupation. Despite the government’s efforts to tighten the noose around protests and demonstrations by taking heightened security measures throughout Taiz city, thousands of citizens reached the rally scene and raised slogans similar to the ones recently seen in the southern and eastern governorates. (Read on …)

IMF, 20% Inflation

Filed under: Donors, UN, Economic, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:25 am on Saturday, October 20, 2007

In Yemen, inflation means starvation.

IRIN has a short vid about poverty in Yemen.

Yemen Times

recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) focusing on Yemen has indicated that the economic performance of Yemen in 2006 we generally favorable, stating that non-oil growth have been strong and did off-set the decline in oil production. However, the report also stated that inflation during 2006 have doubled to over 20 percent, as reflected in the rising food prices and the domestic spending driven by high government spending from record oil revenues, the increase in spending resulted from a large wage increase and rapid money growth among other reasons. (Read on …)

Kids Return to School

Filed under: Children, Civil Rights, Civil Society, Education, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:18 am on Saturday, October 20, 2007

Yay! A sucess story. This could be replicated all over Yemen. They could put Fatima Yaslam in charge and make it a national program.

ADEN, NewsYemen

The Aden-based Society for Children Protection could convince 300 students in Al-Boraika district to return to their schools and stop fishing.

The society has achieved this year an intensive awareness campaign targeted working children and families in the coastal areas of Al-Boraika as it has explained dangers of child labor at sea, said Fatima Yaslam, chairwoman of the society.

Yaslam said the Social Care Fund society and offices of education and public health have helped her society convince families to bring back their children to schools.

The Office of Education in Aden has exempted the children from tuition fees and the Public Health Office has ordered to give them free-of-charge health services at the government hospitals, so families and children felt satisfied, said Yaslam.

Yaslam urged the Labor and Social Affairs Office to pay more attention to the issue of child labor in different utilities and to coordinate with Chamber of Trade and syndicates to help working children, particularly those under 15 years, give up labor and join classrooms as their legal right.

Land Redistribution, Desertification

Filed under: A-GEOGRAPHY/ Land, Agriculture, Enviornmental, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:13 am on Saturday, October 20, 2007

almotamar.net – Director of Agriculture and Irrigation Office in Hadramout Valley on Wednesday said President Ali Abdullah Saleh has given his orders for the reclamation of agricultural land, allocation of YR400 million for that purpose and to distribute pieces of land among the youth and the unemployed graduates in addition to providing them with palm shoots of high quality production for planting them in a number of the Valley districts. (Read on …)

Yemeni Purchases of Syrian Wheat Funded by AMF

Filed under: Donors, UN, Syria, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 3:33 pm on Thursday, October 11, 2007

Yemen Times

Arab Monetary Fund finance Wheat Deal

The UAE-based Arab Monetary Fund has agreed to finance the Yemeni-Syrian Wheat deal where Yemen would buy US$ 70 million worth of wheat from Syria on annual bases. The fund will finance this operation with an interest rate not exceeding 0.375%.

Yemen Highest Rate of Underweight Five Year Olds

Filed under: Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:29 am on Wednesday, September 26, 2007

USAID, 45% of Yemeni kids under age five are underweight.

Yemen is tied for the highest rate of underweight children globally with Afghanistan. In contrast, 3% of kids under five in the Palestinian Territories are underweight. Many people assume the highest child hunger rate rate is in sub-Saharan Africa, but no, Yemeni kids are the skinniest in the world. There’s 46% underweight and 53% stunted kids, per UNICEF-Yemen.
UNICEF shows kids in the Palestinian Territories are 5% underweight and 10% stunted. So things are five time worse in Yemen according to the statistics and there’s millions more Yemeni kids. The point I’m trying to make is Yemeni kids need to be seen in the correct context of global hunger and deserve proportionate international attention as well. The US administration is requesting 4.3 million from Congress in Child Survival Account funds in 2008, in addition to the USAID, food aid and other aid. But aid isn’t really the answer in the long term.

Cows

Filed under: Business, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:46 am on Wednesday, September 26, 2007

This is a good idea, also micro-loans and anything that can jump start private enterprise:

SANA’A, NewsYemen

After three years of launching the first-ever project in Yemen “Cow for Each Family” to find some practical solution for poverty and helping poor families get income and live a more decent life, the Al-Tawasol Association for Human Development in Hodeidah has announced the project has attained good results over the three years.

The Association said in a press release that it had distributed, in cooperation with the al-Rahma Charity Organization of Kuwait, 344 cows for 344 families in different districts of Hodeidah including al-Zahra, al-Dhoha, al-Kanawes, al-Zidia, al-Sokhna, Beit al-Fakeeh, al-Doraihimi and al-Marawiah after conducting field surveys and studying the conditions of such families. (Read on …)

Desertification

Filed under: Agriculture, Water, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:44 am on Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Yemen Times:

Wide areas of agricultural lands in Yemen are exposed to deterioration, said official report published last week.

According to the report, which was issued by the Centre of Natural Resources at the Ministry of Agriculture, 85 percent of the agricultural lands are subject to deterioration due to natural causes such as water shortage and desertification.

The report said that the percentage of deteriorating lands increases by 5 percent because of human expansion and 3 percent because of desertification annually.

These numbers are very significant especially that only 13.6 percent of Yemeni land (about 6.2 million hectares) is fertile. Moreover, only 1.2 to 1.6 hectares is actually used in agriculture. (Read on …)

Five Million Yemeni Children Illiterate

Filed under: Children, Education, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:54 am on Monday, September 24, 2007

Poverty causes the high rate of child labor which keeps kids out of school.

News Yemen

The report, released by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, has said that poverty is the key factor of child labor aggravation in Yemen. The report said that children of poor families continue compulsorily working to cover some of their families’ needs. It expected that the phenomenon will remain as long as poverty remains….

The report has also pointed that Yemen has five million illiterate children as the rate of illiteracy in the country is still high, 78 percent, according to the report. It has recommend the government’s education programs to give priority to children under 15 years.

Unemployment

Filed under: Employment, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:20 am on Wednesday, September 19, 2007

These unemployment figures seem a tad understated, bringing into question all the official figures, like the fisheries.

Under-employment is also an issue in Yemen.

Yemen Observer

Officials from the Ministry of Planning estimate that the unemployment rate in Yemen has risen to around 17 percent, up slightly from the 16.3 percent recorded in the 2004 census results of the total labor force. It is highest among women, at 39.5 percent compared to 13.1 percent among men.

Yemen’s labor force is estimated at around 4.1 million people. The large unemployment rate is one of the main challenges to development, according to the Ministry of Planning. Particularly, when taking into account that the population is growing by 3.5 percent per year and that Yemen is rapidly depleting its limited natural resources.

“In Yemen, as in many other developing countries, unemployment is synonymous with poverty. The unemployed are poor because they don’t get a penny from the government las is the case in developed countries,” said Executive Director of the General Union of the Chamber of Commerce Dr. Mohammed al-Maitami….. (Read on …)

Hoarding Wheat

Filed under: Business, Corruption, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 9:22 am on Thursday, September 13, 2007

during Ramadan no less, how mean

It was probably these two who did the same thing last year and there was no penality then: “We cannot force them to market the discovered flour without the cooperation of the other concerned authorities, especially the Ministry of The Interior, the public prosecutors, and judiciary authorities,” said al-Kumaim.

SANA’A, NewsYemen

The daily report of Operations Room in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, issued Wednesday, said that the field committees to supervise prices stability had found that two merchants monopolize a huge quantity of wheat and flour.

It said the two businessmen Al-Kaboos and Fahim had closed their stores, which are full of wheat and flour, against citizens while the local markets are witnessing a sharp shortage of these two food materials and an awful price increase.

The report, NewsYemen got a copy, said the committees could also during its field inspection to seize some violations in Hamadan district of Sana’a included decreasing the size of wheat and flour bags and selling pesticides in some public shops, in addition to 40 infringements related prices of some commodities.

The report said such breaches had been raised to the governor of Sana’a province to take the penal measures against those monopolize foods and make crises.

The report said that three trucks belong to the Yemeni Economic Corporation has unloaded tons of wheat and sold it to people in Shamlan and Al-Lakmah in Sana’a with the official price YR 3700.

Local Grains Production Low

Filed under: A-NATURAL RESOURCES, Agriculture, Water, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:27 pm on Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cereal production declined dramatically in the last decades. Agricultural land dedicated to qat and water allocation are relevent issues as well.

SANA’A, NewsYemen

Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Mansour al-Hoshabi said that the food gap in Yemen is very wide and the rate of wheat imports is still high, 92.7 percent.

Dr. al-Hoshabi expected that Yemen could fill only 15 to 20 percent of the gap in the coming 10 or 15 years. (Read on …)

Demonstrations All Over

Filed under: Civil Rights, Security Forces, South Yemen, Targeting, Yemen, political violence, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:50 pm on Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Yemen Times

SANA’A, Sept. 2 — Thousands of military and civil retirees poured into the streets of different southern and eastern governorates on Saturday in angry protests, imploring the government to listen to their demands and not to ignore their problems. The fiercest of them was staged in the city of Mukalla in Hadramout in which bloody clashes took place between policemen and protestors.

The security forces attempted to disperse the crowds by force and in fact arrested many of them. It has been learned that at least two people were killed and tens of protestors, along with policemen were injured in the clashes that drove rioters to damage cars and destroy trade stores.

The clashes broke out at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday following a peaceful demonstration that was organized by the Political and Public Function Coordination Committee and Military and Civil Retirees Coordination Council in Hadramout, as well as other social forums.

Furthermore, on the same day, Aden city experienced heavy deployment of security personnel in most of the city’s intersections after clashes between protestors and policemen broke out in the Sheikh Othman and Khor Maksar neighborhoods. During the clashes, 3 protestors were killed and 400 others injured. Most of those arrested, however, were released on the same day. Also, security forces prevented the crowd from holding a sit-in in Aden and vehemently dispersed those who started to gather with sticks and rubber bullets. (Read on …)

MP’s Beaten by Central Security

Filed under: GPC, Ministries, Parliament, Security Forces, Targeting, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:41 pm on Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Al-Sahwa

September 4, 2007- The members of parliament, Ensaf Mayo and Mohammad al-Qubati, have claimed the Speaker of Parliament, Sheikh Abdulah al-Ahmer to immediately investigate military orders of violating them.

They accused the Central Security Commander, Colonel Hamoud al-Harthi, of ordering officials and soldiers of CS to assault them without any consideration to their parliamentary immunity.

They explained in a letter sent to the Speaker of Parliament on Tuesday that the so-called al-Harthi incited CS soldiers against them, accusing them of secessionism.

Canadian and Two Yemenis Kidnapped in Yemen

Filed under: Crime, Other Countries, Tribes, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 6:46 pm on Saturday, September 1, 2007

well actually theres lots of Yemenis kidnapped in Yemen but these two are with the Canadian

SHABWA, NewsYemen

An official in Shabwa province, south Yemen, expected that the director of Canadian oil company Technohouse Atram Nafour Kaftar and his companions whom tribesmen kidnapped Saturday might be released soon.

The director of AlSaeed district of Shabwa said in a phone call with NewsYemen that contacts between the Canadian company and the kidnappers from Al-Tawasel tribe are ongoing since Friday. He explained that the kidnapping was because a difference between the firm and a contractor belongs to the tribe.

A tribesman affiliates with the Al-Tawasel tribe kidnapped last Friday the Canadian and two Osama Mohammad Aslab from Syria and the Yemeni driver and moved them to Al-Kore mountain in Al-Saeed district.

Both engineers and their driver are said to be alive and well.

Four French tourists were kidnapped in Shabwa last September, before presidential elections. The tribesmen released the tourists after two weeks of mediation efforts.

Wheat Flour Monopolies

Filed under: Agriculture, Business, EMC, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:53 pm on Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Subsidies looming

SANA’A, Aug. 25 — Deputy director of the capital secretariat chamber of commerce Mohammed Sallah has warned the Yemeni government of the consequences of subsidizing wheat and flour. He stated that the retail prices of wheat and flour at the government’s outlets are around 350 Riyals below cost, he also added that the government should first make a careful study of the consequences of such interference in the market.

Sallah also stated that while the notion of reducing the prices of wheat and flour for Yemeni consumers is a honorable one, but doing as such without studying the consequences will have dire effects on the economy and the government’s budget. He quoted from previous experiences that showed how the government’s eventual removal of such subsidies had disastrous effects. (Read on …)

10,000 Protest in Taiz

Filed under: Civil Society, Electric, Employment, JMP, Water, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 5:16 am on Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thats quite a turn out.

News Yemen

TAIZ, NewsYemen

While leaders of opposition parties, Joint Meeting Parties, try to gather their supporters in Taiz province for more protests against what they said “price hikes, corruption and low level of services, leaders in the General People’s Congress accused them of provoking people and seeking to make riots so that investors think that Yemen is not stable.

The JMP’s office in Taiz stated that people ran to the streets to peacefully raise the slogan “No Life Without Water”, “Stop Fatal Price Hikes” and “No New Yemen With Corruption”.

The protest was safe, but some leaders in the GPC have shown anger with it, especially at the time Yemenis streets witness protests in different places of the country against different issues. (Read on …)

Unemployment at 34%, Electricity at 40%

Filed under: Demographics, Economic, Electric, Employment, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 5:11 am on Thursday, August 16, 2007

The two billion is coming from the foreign reserves which total around 7 billion, leaving five billion. Thats a big move to liquidate about 27% of foreign reserves in one shot.

Yemen Times

- Saleh instructs using reserves for development

President Saleh stated that he has given instructions to the government to use one billion dollars of the general foreign currency reserves to Generate Electricity, and another billion dollars to provide urgent employment opportunities to reduce unemployment. This was stated at the opening session of the Agricultural cooperative conference held on the 13th.

SANA’A, Aug. 13 — The President of the Republic Ali Abdullah Saleh instructed the government last Monday to assign $ 1billion so as to accelerate producing electricity power to cover the power shortage. He also allocates another $ 1 billion to create job opportunities to the huge number of unemployed people.

Saleh pointed out to the participants of the 4th General Conference of the Cooperative agricultural Union that he is trying to solve the critical and significant situations of the shortage of electricity as well as the steadily accelerating unemployment.

“We are looking forward to come out of the conference with positive and fruitful outcomes to avoid deficit aspects which occurred during the last period”, the President said.

He also stressed that the government should seriously solve the perplexing problem of unemployment which is of high rate in Yemen.

Recent studies referred that Unemployment in Yemen increased sharply due to the government failure to improve the economic policies and enhance the life standards of Yemen. According to the 2006 annual economic report, unemployment average in Yemen has rocketed up since 2003 – 05 to 34%, which is regarded as the biggest number so far.

The report stated also that the number of young people graduating every year from universities and private institutions reaches up to 188000 graduates, while the available annual vacancies are not more than 16000 jobs.

Unemployment in Yemen is a real hassle facing the development as it has economical and social effects. The person average daily income has been affected due to the recent price hikes and the increase of unemployment. Studies conducted by both local and international institutions show that poverty is the main cause of violence and crimes.

The young people spend their time hanging around in the streets, committing violence and crimes as a result of unemployment.

The electricity, on the other hand, is not in a good condition too. Yemeni people all over the country suffer from unbearable power shortage.

“It is a received habit that the power goes off daily for one to two hours. Sometimes during the exam period the power keeps on flashing continuously and we can go with that, but in Ramadan, it is unbearable”, a 25-year-old young man working in Trust Yemen Company said.

“The President pledged during his recent electoral campaign to enhance the power shortage with nuclear power and we are still waiting”, he continued.

According to Yemen’s Public Electricity Corporation (PEC), the country’s electricity distribution network is inadequate. Currently, it is estimated that only 40 percent of the total population in Yemen have access to electricity from the national power grid. Even for those connected to the grid, electricity supply is intermittent, with rolling blackout schedules maintained in most cities. In order to meet the growing demand (up to 20 percent between 2000 and 2004) and to avert an energy crisis in the medium term, Yemen’s Electricity and Water Ministry has plans to increase the country’s power, generating capacity to 1,400 megawatts (MW) by 2010.

SDF Improves Performance

Filed under: Civil Society, Donors, UN, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:46 am on Monday, May 14, 2007

The Social Fund is one of the buracracies that works in Yemen despite tremendous odds. And it does very important work, helping the poorest.

26 Septemper News

SANA’A.12,May (26sep.net) According to a recent study of international donors to Yemen that 69% of the investments of the Social Fund for Development targeted the poorest segment in Yemen and 95% of the projects were to the utmost priority for the targeted.
The study which funded by the British government and supervised by representatives of donor countries and organizations in Yemen, showed that there was a significant improvement in the performance of the Social Fund for Development in targeting the poorest segment and the indicator of targeting of this segment rose from 44% in 2003 to 69% in 2006.

According to the study, which “26sep.net” has gotten its results that the Social Development Fund to enable the implementation of 5973 projects since 1997 to October 2006 in cost up to $ 493 million.
The study showed that the axes of technical survey and assessment of the beneficiaries and institutional assessment that projects implemented by the Fund, including education 46% and water 11%, roads 7.6% and 7.5% in health and 20% targeted of the enterprise of groups with special needs and the development of cultural heritage as well as raising the institutional capacities.


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