Yemen - Introduction
Yemen is a strategically important country in the Arabian Peninsula, overlooking the Mandab Strait, and has great economic potential with its large labor force, long shoreline, and agricultural and hydrocarbon resources. Yet, the country is one of the poorest and most fragile countries in the world. Poverty, malnutrition, and unemployment are widespread, and water resources are very scarce. The poor social indicators add to social tensions, complicate the management of the economy and contribute to security challenges. Furthermore, high dependence on hydrocarbon resources exposes the economy to external shocks.
Yemen, in contrast to the Gulf states, is a nation characterized by intense poverty and severe structural limits to sustainable economic growth. It is a fragile state in which the central government exercises limited control over territory, particularly in the northern tribal regions. Yemen’s modern history is rife with internal conflict.
The country continues to suffer from internal strife, decentralized political legitimacy, underdevelopment and corruption. A tribal rebellion in the north near the Saudi border percolated along as a vestige of the historic Imamate. In the south, latent tensions connected to unity and the civil war festered as southerners protest political and economic marginalization. With the onset of armed conflict in March 2015, real activity collapsed, the country’s human and real capital suffered, large external and internal imbalances emerged, and the fiscal deficit surged.
|Land Comparison |
527,970 sq km (203,797 sq mi)
1,906 km (1,184 nm)
Red Sea, Gulf of Aden
Muslim (Zaydi-Shia majority)
(Shafi-Sunni minority) Minor presence of Christian, Jewish and Hindu
Type of Government
Key Leaders: President,
Vice President and Prime
+ 3 hours Coordinated Universal Time
+ 8 hours Eastern Standard Time
16,387,963 (July 1998 est.)
23 million (2008 est.),
Growth rate: 3.31% (July 1998 est.)
Major Cities and Population
Capital: Sanaa 926,595
Al Hudaydah 155,100
Aden, Al Hayadah, Taizz, Sanaa
Official Language: Arabic
English is widely understood
Currency Denomination: Yemeni Riyal (YR):
$1 = 124.09 YR (1998)
GDP $31.8 billion (1997 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $26.91 billion (2008 est.)
GDP (purchasing power parity): $55.41 billion (2008 est.)
Budget: revenues: $9.243 billion
expenditures: $10.36 billion (2008 est.)
GDP Per capita: $2,300 (1997 est.)
US$ 600 (Nominal - 2006 estimate), US$ 2,300 (PPP - 2007 estimate)
Real growth: 5.0% (1997 est.)
Exports: $2.3 billion (f.o.b., 1997 est.)
Commodities: Crude oil, cotton, coffee, vegetables, dried and salted fish.
Imports: $2.3 billion (f.o.b., 1997 est.)
Commodities: Textiles, manufactured consumer goods, petroleum products, sugar, grain, fruits, foodstuffs, cement, machinery, and chemicals Unemployment: 30% (1995) Agriculture: Accounts for about 15% of GDP and over half of the labor force. Products include grain, vegetables, fruits, qat, coffee, cotton, dairy products, poultry, meat, fish.
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