Funding Gap Prevents Implementation of 2014 Population Census

Asma al-Mohattwari

Undoubtedly, a census in any country is a very important event. Today, with major demographic changes occurring and attention focused on meeting millennium development goals, the availability of accurate and timely data is more important than ever

On June 19th, The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation held a meeting to review the progress and funding gap of the Yemen 2014 population, housing, and establishment census, in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund in Yemen (UNFPA).

In the meeting, Mohammed al-Sadi, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, said that the financial gap for the General Census of Population, Housing, and Establishment of 2014 in all stages is around 20 million dollars.

Al-Sadi pointed out that the Ministry and the Central Agency of Statistics has completed several stages successfully.

The financial aspect of the census has been adopted by the Council of Ministers and they prepared the plans and required documents that were presented to friends. Donors have pledged a percentage of the money needed.

Al-Sadi explained that Yemen is passing though difficult crises and the government faces many challenges that prevent fulfilling many commitments because of the scarcity and limit of resources. “Obstacles and difficulties are a result of terrorism and sabotage acts, which cost the state huge losses and have a huge impact on the national economy,” he said.

He pointed out that the war against terrorism is not a local or regional war, but is international and therefore there is a partnership between Yemen and the international community to fight terrorism, which is very expensive and has a significant impact on economic development.

“We need donors to increase support and assistance to fill the financial gap in order to complete the remaining stages of the implementation of the General Census of Population, Housing, and Establishment of 2014. The support of donors has to increase from 13% to 30% to fill the gap,” he added.

For her part, Lene Christiansen, UNFPA representative to Yemen, said that census is not only a landmark count of its population but it is also a way to provide the government, private sectors, academic and development partners with critical once-a-decade benchmark information about the state population, its demographic and socioeconomic characteristics providing a base for estimates, projections and forecasts.

“Toward this end, UNFPA globally has taken a prominent role in supporting several countries undertaking their censuses, supporting countries in the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data for development is a critical component of UNFPA’s mandate,” she added.

The UNFPA representative to Yemen pointed out that in Yemen, preparations for the 2014 Population, Housing and Establishments Census have been in full swing since 2012. According to her, this landmark event comes at a very challenging time where the country is going through a critical transition. “The outcomes of the census will vastly help to better plan and contribute to the development process in Yemen. The census also comes while the world reviews the MDGs and drafts the post 2015 development agenda.”