With the Participation of the UN RC Mr. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Yemen Launches Transitional Program for Stabilization and Development 2012-2014
Yemen launched on Monday a transitional program for 2012-2014 that aimed at restoring political, security and economic stability with external aid.
During a meeting titled "Donors Strategic Partnership Forum," which discussed the program and a joint social and economic assessment after the unrest in 2011, the Yemeni government kicked off the program, whose priority was finalizing a peaceful power transfer under a UN-sponsored transition deal reached in November 2011.
Yemeni Planning and International Cooperation Minister Muhammed Al-Sadi said at the meeting that the program was to achieve economic recovery, resolve the humanitarian crisis and reduce food insecurity.
The financing gap to implement the program was estimated at about 5.85 billion U.S. dollars.
The meeting, attended by ambassadors and representatives of donor countries and agencies, including Mr. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, discussed the social and economic assessment prepared by the World Bank, European Union, the United Nations and the Islamic Development Bank in cooperation with Yemen 's Planning and International Cooperation Ministry.
The assessment reviewed the social and economic situation in Yemen, which was severely affected by the mass protests last year, saying that Yemen's economy contracted by 11 percent, which increased the fiscal deficit to around 1.4 billion dollars and greatly enhanced the unemployment rate.
It added that the country's poverty rate increased from 35 percent in 2006 to 54 percent by the end of 2011.
Yemen has one of the highest population growth rate in the world, about 3 percent, coinciding with the problem of food insecurity affecting 10 million people, about 45 percent of the population, and malnutrition affecting about 1 million children, the assessment paper showed.
The chief officer of the team which drafted the assessment said Yemen really needs urgent support to implement the program, though its economy is unlikely to grow.
He said the country needs about 2 billion dollars in emergency aid during the immediate transition period 2013-2016 to reduce poverty and unemployment rate and help revive economy.
The sum will be declining during 2017 and 2020, he said.
Under this scenario, the poverty rate will retreat to 31 percent by 2020, he continued.
"Yemen's economy grew by 4 percent a year in the past decade, and if it is recovered to pre-crisis levels under a slow transition, the poverty rate may remain at 50 percent by 2020, and then 3 billion dollars would be required from 2013 to 2016," he said while displaying a presentation.
The donor community should prioritize measures, programs and operations to improve economic conditions, provide rapid relief to the Yemeni people, and assist in alleviating the budgetary pressures during 2012-2014, the assessment paper added.