By NY Staff
Mohammed’s mother, who looks for food among the rubbish to feed her four children, doesn’t care about political news. According to her, politicians are the reason behind her suffers and many more people in the country. “While we are looking for food, they fight for power,” she said.
With these words, Mohammed’s mother explained the problem of 15 million Yemenis who live under the poverty line and lack basic necessities.
According to economic expert Ahmed Hajar, there has been a significant decline in the living standards of most people. He said that the individual average share of disposable income has decreased from 1995 to 2014 by 15.6%. From 2000 it has decreased by 37%, and from 2005 and 2010 it decreased by 32% and 31% respectively.
“Unfortunately, these percentages have led to an increase in the rate of the population under the poverty line, from 34% in 2005 to 43% in 2010, and increased after the events of 2011 to 54.4%,” he added.
Hajar said that it was expected that the poverty rate rose in 2014 to 56% because of the low gross domestic product (GDP) growth, and at the same time the rate of inflation has been rising, which has led to an increased rate of unemployment among youths, now 35%, and a deterioration of population’s living standards as well.
From the point of view of Hajar, what has exacerbated the problem is the failure of the economic, financial and administrative reform program, which began to be implemented by the government in 1996.
Hajar said that the program aimed to achieve stability and economic growth and raise the standard of living of the population by providing job opportunities. “For 18 years, society bore many burdens as a result of implementing economic reform policies, especially those related to raising the fees of government services and subsidies for basic goods and petroleum products.”
Hajar added that despite all these burdens, the government didn’t achieve any of the program’s aims, which made people lose their trust in the government and its policies and lead to the spread of corruption.
The performance of economic growth of the GDP in general, and the domestic product of the non-oil sectors especially during the years 2001-2010 and 2011-2014, is characterized by weakness and an inability to achieve targeted rates of the growth or to alleviate poverty and create jobs.
While the suffering of citizens is still increasing, the political elites focus on gains and quotas, using politics as an official cover for their other goals and economic gain.