Country Focus Data: Yemen
September 01, 1997
by Mindy Dake
The Republic of Yemen is located on the southern tip of the Arabia Peninsula in the Middle East. Its capital is Sanaa.
Demography: Population 13.5 million (July 1996 estimate), 3.6% growth rate; Arabic language; Muslim religion.
Geography: Narrow coastal plain backed by flat-topped hills and rugged mountains, upland desert plain and desert. Climate mostly desert, hot and humid on west coast.
Government: Federal republic. Chief of state is President Ali Abdallah Salih; head of government is Prime Minister Farag Said Bin Ghanem, elected May 1997.
Agricultural agencies: Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources; Ministry of Supply and Trade.
Economy: A comprehensive economic reform program is under way to move the economy away from central planning, prompted by agreements with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Currency regulations and restrictions have been liberalized, and subsidies gradually are being phased out. The reunification of North and South Yemen required a blending of two economies, and progress was disrupted by the 1994 civil war. Inflation and unemployment in 1995 stood at 71% and 30%, respectively, but the economy now is recovering. Agriculture accounts for about 21% of gross domestic product
G.D.P. per capita: U.S.$2,520, growth rate, 3.6% (both 1995 estimates).
Currency: Yemeni rial. July 1997 exchange rate: approximately 125 rials per U.S. dollar.
Exports: U.S.$1.1 billion, f.o.b. 1994; crude oil, coffee, cotton.
Imports: U.S.$1.8 billion, c.i.f. 1994; textiles, consumer goods, grain, flour, sugar
Major agricultural crops/products: Sorghum, fruits, vegetables, cotton, coffee, qat.
Coarse grains: Five-year annual production averages about 642,000 tonnes, of which 71% is sorghum. Maize imports average about 103,000 tonnes a year, and total use averages 744,000.
Wheat: Production averages about 168,000 tonnes a year, with imports at nearly 2 million and use at 2.4 million.
Transportation: Railroads, none; 51,4392 km of highways, with 4,831 km paved; major ports are Hodeidah and Aden.