Poverty, lack of good education, proper health and corruption are only a few of the key issues that many international organizations have tried to address as they attempt to help Yemen in overcoming its problems
The efforts are noble, but their efforts such as in addressing anti-corruption have in some ways only increased corruption within our government as well as in their very own organizations. Many organizations and directors claim that in order to effectively implement projects, they must “pay to play” in order to implement their projects. I understand that these ‘fees’ organizations pay allows them to bring in much needed dollars every year. But, we have to look critically at how this money is spent because if we look closely enough, I am certain that they operate with 10% efficiency at best.
The lack of efficiency may not be classified as corruption in a traditional sense, i.e. stealing money, but in my opinion it is still corruption and we as Yemenis should be furious. These inefficiencies, or acts of corruption manifest in multi-million dollar projects that pay for exorbitant staff salaries, conferences, holidays and over-priced Hadda restaurants and luxurious villas for their comfort.
More concerning, it is not surprising that an executive at an NGO a brief contract in work. In an effort to shore up their lack of knowledge, they lean on highly paid consultants even less sensitive to Yemeni needs to fill in their gaps. Only after short conversations does it make one understand more about their standards and policies that will never fit nor work in Yemen. As a result, it is no surprise that the millions of dollars that are spent rarely – if ever – reaches the Yemeni individual.
Even when money does reach Yemeni’s through contracts with local businesses, large organizations do not share the wealth. In an effort of laziness, organizations play favorites and award the same contracts to the same businesses and national organizations. This constrains growth for other start up organizations and only enriches a privileged few – a concept all too common in Yemen.
With this in mind, National Yemen will create a series of articles in upcoming issues that will profile specific development agencies. We will bring to light the mismanagement of the multi-million dollar funds in these development agencies. It is our intention to bring to expose why projects failed and the money lost. We must make sure that when a project fails it is not met with comments of “well, at least we spent the money.” If we are able to this, we will hold these organizations to account to the Yemeni people, and not just to failed governments.