By NY Staff
Minister of Human Rights Houria Mashhoor sold a personal ring of hers for YR 2 million that will go to fighting the presence of Qat in Yemen. The ring was bought by two Yemeni businessmen and the money was donated to establish a health clinic. In a symposium held by “Qat Free Nation”, Minister Mashhoor stressed the importance of establishing programs and enacting legislation to eliminate the growing and chewing of Qat. She noted that alternatives should be available for farmers. “A large amount of families’ income goes for buying Qat which is a main reason behind malnutrition in Yemen,” she pointed out. Manager of “Qat Free Nation” organization Hind Al-Iryani said that the step of Mashhoor will significantly support their efforts. She added that establishing the clinic will help those who would like to stop chewing. “Some people deprive their children of food to buy Qat,” she noted.
Statistics show that Qat comes in second place after food on the spending lists of Yemeni families. “73% of men, 46% of women and 23% of children chew Qat daily,” shows studies. It also noted that fathers usually spend 35% of their income on buying Qat. Moreover, Qat was reported to be consuming huge amounts of water when planted.
Additionally, youth campaigns have been launched lately in order to hold Qat-free weddings in Yemen and have been well received by Yemenis. The holder of the first Qat free wedding, Al-Bara’a Shaiban, said the step of Minister Mashhoor reflects the desire of decision makers to eliminate the phenomena of chewing Qat.
Edited by Kevin Davis