Monday, April 24, 2006

Country Focus: Yemen

Location: Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea, between Oman and Saudi Arabia

Population: 21,456,188

Total Area: 527,970 sq km - slightly larger than twice the size of Wyoming

Climate: mostly desert; hot and humid along west coast; temperate in western mountains affected by seasonal monsoon; extraordinarily hot, dry, harsh desert in east

Natural resources: petroleum, fish, rock salt, marble; small deposits of coal, gold, lead, nickel, and copper; fertile soil in west

Environment - current issues: very limited natural fresh water resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification

Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection. Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

National holiday: Unification Day, 22 May

Economy - brief overview: Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, has reported meager growth since 2000. Its economic fortunes depend mostly on oil. Oil revenues increased in 2005 due to higher prices. Yemen was on an IMF-supported structural adjustment program designed to modernize and streamline the economy, which led to substantial foreign debt relief and restructuring. However, government dedication to the program waned in 2001 for political reasons. Yemen is struggling to control excessive spending and rampant corruption.

Budget: revenues: $5.616 billion; expenditures: $5.719 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Labor force: 5.83 million (2005 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: most people are employed in agriculture and herding; services, construction, industry, and commerce account for less than one-fourth of the labor force

Unemployment rate: 35% (2003 est.)

Agriculture - products: grain, fruits, vegetables, pulses, qat, coffee, cotton; dairy products, livestock (sheep, goats, cattle, camels), poultry; fish
Industries: crude oil production and petroleum refining; small-scale production of cotton textiles and leather goods; food processing; handicrafts; small aluminum products factory; cement; commercial ship repair

Oil - production: 387,500 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - imports: NA

Oil - exports: 370,300 bbl/day (2003)

Oil - proved reserves: 4.37 billion bbl (2005 est.)

Exports: $6.387 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports - commodities: crude oil, coffee, dried and salted fish

Exports - partners: Thailand 33.8%, China 30.3%, Singapore 7.8% (2004)

Imports: $4.19 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports - commodities: food and live animals, machinery and equipment, chemicals

Imports - partners: UAE 12.2%, Saudi Arabia 9.7%, China 8.8%, France 7.3%, India 4.4%, US 4.4%, Kuwait 4.2% (2004)

Previous articles in the series:
Albania Botswana Cayman Islands Djibouti Ecuador Fiji Georgia Honduras Iceland Jamaica Kyrgyzstan Liechtenstein Mauritania Norway Oman Paraguay Rwanda Slovenia Tuvalu Uruguay Vanuatu Wallis and Futuna