1.5 Million Yemenites on the Brink

By NY Staff

A sum of 1.5 million Yemeni workers face the specter of losing their jobs as a result of the recession that plagued the construction sector and the repercussions of the crisis against the backdrop of mounting dues to contractors with the government side.

The General Union of Yemeni contractors warned of the impact of the continuing crisis in the construction sector on the Yemeni economy, pointing out that the contractors intend to increase the protests to demand the financial entitlements of up to 40 billion riyals (200 million dollars), which the Ministry of Finance declined to pay for the contractors.

Yahya Aldhanan, the head of the Yemeni Federation of Contractors said that “the absence of the government’s response to their demands will work on the implementation of a number of escalating steps to shut down the business and address the donors and orientation to eliminate domestic and external sources.

 Aldhanan assured many of the contractors are facing the threat of bankruptcy due to the accumulation of debts, whether banks or merchants, which threaten operational functions for about 1.5 million workers in the construction sector, will relate to the situation of living for nearly 25% of the population.

He noted that the failure to remedy this problem for the important economic sector would set off an economic crisis that is difficult for the government to contain later.

The report of the Federation of Contractors, has pointed more than 50% of qualified contractors from the labor market in the construction sector in Yemen that has been out as a result of the recession that hit the sector due to the political crisis which has not improved through the country since 2011.

He added that there are about 1,300 companies operating in the construction sector in Yemen.

Naji Abdullah, an economic analyst said “the construction sector and the consulting backbone of the national economy in terms of infrastructure development of the national economy can provide jobs for a large segment of society in addition to absorbing foreign funds directed towards infrastructure development of the national economy”. Therefore it should be in great interest from the government that contracting and consulting should not be viewed as a separate sector.

He pointed out that in addition to the crisis with the government side and the repercussions of the recession as a result of the overall situation, there is a third reason for the deteriorating situation in the construction sector and for this reason why we approach many people to invest in treasury bills.

“The government continued to issue treasury bills in order to preserve the value of the riyal which drives people to prefer to buy shares in treasury bills in order to get them every year on the profits of specific and guaranteed pay rather than what they see as an adventure in the construction work. They may incur heavy losses as a result of the economic situation volatile and turbulent in the country.

According to the reports of the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, 2010 was the last year in which they saw the construction sector have remarkable growth of 31% and increased the time output of this sector to 275 billion riyals ($ 1.4 billion dollars) in the corresponding decline of this sector since 2011; due to the movement of protests and confrontations witnessed by the country and its repercussions still list.