YemenSource | President Hadi Implements Austerity Measures as Economy Falters

In a press statement, President Hadi ordered austerity measures to address the country’s financial problems. These measures aim to cut government spending and include restricting international travel for senior officials, stopping the new hiring of staff or office rentals, and cutting down on office expenses.  

It’s always a race for power in Yemen
Farea al-Muslimi writes in The National that power cuts are becoming more frequent in Yemen. In the past few days, electricity supplies have been off for more than twenty hours a day. Securing electricity has become the single greatest concern for locals and it has affected every aspect of life, and this situation reflects badly on the government’s performance. While the government’s recently announced austerity cuts are designed to stem billions of dollars in losses, these cuts may also trigger popular protests against the president and his cabinet. [The National, 7/12/2014]

Yemen’s prospects for membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council
Robert Sharp writes in International Policy Digest that there has been much debate about the inclusion of Yemen as either an associate or full member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). However, there are several reasons why the GCC is stalling on letting Yemen join and there are some reasonable concerns with Yemen’s membership suitability, including the possibility that Yemen’s problems will spill over into the GCC if unchecked. Sharp writes that Yemen joining the GCC is the best way for the GCC to insulate itself from problems originating from Yemen and equip itself to benefit if Yemen succeeds at addressing its manifold challenges. [International Policy Digest, 7/9/2014]

Federalism is necessary to avoid partition
Wissam Matta writes in Al Monitor that Yemenis continue to struggle to restore stability in the country but there are factors slowing down the process that must be addressed. The most prominent factor is the obstruction attempt by the former president, who has become immune via the Gulf Initiative. Veteran politician Abdul Malik al-Mekhlafi notes that granting immunity to Ali Abdullah Saleh allowed him the opportunity to disrupt the National Dialogue since he continues to have considerable influence in the government and within the General People’s Congress. With these complications and others, al-Mekhlafi declares that a commitment to the process of consensus will protect Yemen’s transition into federalism. [Al Monitor, 7/13/2014]

President Hadi implements austerity measures as economy falters

In a press statement, President Hadi ordered austerity measures to address the country’s financial problems. These measures aim to cut government spending and include restricting international travel for senior officials, stopping the new hiring of staff or office rentals, and cutting down on office expenses. President Hadi also ordered a review of oil production costs and a review of the tax collection process to resolve outstanding and accumulating tax debts. [Saba (Arabic), Yemen Post, 7/9/2014]
Yemeni Interior Ministry meets for mid-year assessment
The Interior Ministry held a meeting on July 8 to evaluate the ministry’s performance, including its responsibilities towards immigration, reform, and civil defense. The Interior Ministry offered several recommendations to President Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi that seek to enhance its performance. [Saba (Arabic), 7/8/2014]

European Commission increases humanitarian aid to Yemen
The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) pledged to assist 70,000 malnourished children in Yemen in the upcoming year. The funds released will support the training of health workers in Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM), as well as the restoration of water and sanitation facilities in 100 nutrition facilities in Hodeidah, Hajjah, Aden, Lahj, and Taiz. [Saba, 7/10/2014]
UN Security Council and United States condemn Houthi rebel activity in Yemen
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) condemned Houthi rebel activity in Yemen, following the attack on Amran and the violent attacks on government buildings and residential neighborhoods. The UNSC issued an official statement addressing the situation after its emergency meeting. In a press statement issued by the US State Department, the US government condemned the violence that occurred in Amran over the past week that has resulted in the loss of lives and called on Houthi rebels to immediately stop all armed activity and halt their advance towards Sana’a. [Reuters, 7/8/2014, Saba (Arabic), 7/9/2014, Al Masdar (Arabic), 7/10/2014]
President Hadi visits Saudi Arabia
President Hadi arrived in Saudi Arabia for an impromptu visit that lasted a few hours. He was received by Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. After meeting with Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, President Hadi announced that the king had ordered urgent aid and assistance to Yemen to help it overcome its economic challenges. They also discussed the latest developments in Yemen, particularly Houthi rebel activity in the country. [Al Masdar (Arabic), Saba (Arabic), 7/9/2014]

Yemen and the Gulf Cooperation Council discuss Yemen’s transition process
Prime Minister Basindwa met with the the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) Mission Head Saad al-Arifi to discuss possible areas of cooperation between Yemen and the GCC. They also discussed current developments and challenges that face Yemen’s transition process. [Saba, 7/7/2014]

Demonstrators in Sana’a call for defense minister’s resignation
Hundreds of Sana’a residents took to the streets calling for the immediate resignation of Yemen’s defense minister Major General Mohammed Nasser Ahmed over his failure to protect Amran. Protesters voiced their frustration over what they perceive as military apathy toward the rebels. In related news, Houthi rebels surrendered an army camp to the Yemeni government to try to defuse tensions with the army. On July 14,Yemeni President Abdrabo Mansour Hadi dismissed two military chiefs following sweeping advances by Shiite rebels and a surge in al-Qaeda attacks. [Yemen Post, 7/11/2014, Reuters, Al Masdar (Arabic), 7/14/2014]

Bomb attack halts oil pipeline flow in Marib
A bomb attack on Yemen’s main oil export pipeline halted crude oil flows in Marib. The pipeline carries around 70,000 to 110,000 barrels per day of light crude oil. The pipeline was repaired in May 2014 after an earlier attack by tribesmen. [Reuters, 7/12/2014]

Refugee agency says more than 35,000 people displaced by fighting in Yemen
More than 35,000 people have been displaced in Amran. The head of the Yemeni government refugee agency in Amran reported mass flight of Yemenis from Amran and surrounding areas after the city’s fall. Most of these families are now staying in the open with no shelter and are in desperate need of humanitarian aid. Many were still stuck in areas of confrontation unable to leave due to the clashes or because they cannot afford to leave their homes. [Reuters, 7/9/2014]
Yemen’s oil exports decline significantly
An official report by Yemen’s Central Bank revealed that the government’s share of oil exports declined to 3.6 million barrels during January to May 2014. The significant decline in oil exports in May 2014 was due to an oil shipment delay worth $1.3 million. According to the report, oil export revenue in the period between January and May 2014 did not exceed $671 million, $446 million less than last year’s revenue. [Sahafa (Arabic), 7/9/2014]

Oil minister meets president of Total Group
Yemen’s Minister of Oil and Minerals Hussein al-Kaf met with the President of Middle East exploration and production at Total Group to discuss the company’s activities in Yemen. The meeting took place after Total suffered from repeated disruptions to its operations in Hadramawt. In a statement issued by Total, the company clarified that these disruptions were a result of repeated power cuts to a power plant belonging to Yemen’s Public Electricity Corporation, and is not related to the company’s natural gas availability in Yemen. [Saba, 7/9/2014]

Yemen’s Central Bank reports decrease in foreign debt

Yemen’s Central Bank revealed a $38 million decrease in foreign debt in May 2014. The report showed that the country’s outstanding balance stood at approximately $7.3 billion. [Saba (Arabic), 7/10/2014]