Ramadan: Recession and High Living Costs

National Yemen

Ramadan: Recession and High Living Costs

By NY Staff

The month of Ramadan has many special traditions in Yemen, especially regarding the dining table, which is loaded every night with a multitude of dishes and drinks. Mosques are also filled each day with people praying and cleaning their souls. Despite the high cost of goods, requirements on Yemeni families to consume remain. As a result, most Yemenis complain about the deterioration of their economic situations. Asmaa Al-Arhabi stated that vegetables, fruits, meat and canned goods are attractively represented in markets. “However, I still cannot buy all my family need due to monetary constraints,” she noted. She added that many goods are outdated and expired and state control over food is absent.

Meat stores enjoy good business in Ramadan despite the high prices of all meat varieties. Mohsen Al-Shebeeri states he is happy to see Ramadan arrive each year but his happiness vanishes soon after due to the high prices of goods. He notes that most Yemenis cannot purchase food because of its high cost. High costs are not limited to meat but also extend to tomatoes, whose prices rise beyond the ability of the poor to buy. Abdullah Al-Shehary said that he is forced to buy tomatoes at any price because he owns a vegetable store. He added that the price of tomatoes as much as doubles during Ramadan.

Chairman of The Economic Center in Sana’a Mustafa Nasr confirmed that the high costs of goods are attributed to the absence of any authority on ration and commodity. Nasr noted that high prices began started in 2011 when Yemen witnessed an unprecedented crisis in oil derivatives resulting in raised prices of goods.

Abdulbaqi Shamsan, Professor of Sociological Science at Sana’a University, stated that impacts of economical repercussions of 2011 caused most families to remain or fall below the poverty line. Poverty is more widespread among rural areas, where 70% of Yemenis live.

Yemen has been suffering an economic crisis since the political turmoil of 2011, which ousted the former president sharply increased incidents of violence in the country.