The poorest and most populous country in the Arabian Peninsula, one of Yemen’s biggest challenges in the coming years will remain high unemployment level and a lack of opportunities for its ever-growing youth.
But despite much political instability and security issues, Yemen could have found a silver lining to its unemployment crisis now that Qatar has said to be ready to implement its labour market agreement with Sana’a government.
Back in February, Yemen Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Amat al-Razzaq and her counterpart in Doha, Ali Hamad signed an addendum to Yemen-Qatar labour agreement as to accelerate Yemenis’ accession to Qatar’s labour market and thus ease out Yemen’s unemployment crisis. With the second highest unemployment rate in the world, up to 50% according to the Social and Economic Development Research Center (SEDRC), Yemen coalition government has said from the get go that its main priority would be to boost the job marker and open up new avenues to its youth, the segment of population most affected by a lack of work opportunities. SEDRC estimated in August 2013 that in some regions of Yemen youth unemployment could reach 73.3%, a dizzying and very troublesome statistic given that extreme poverty and instability have proven to go hand in hand.
But things are looking up for Yemen. Anas Darweesh, senior programme manager at Silatech, a social initiative that works to create jobs and expand economic opportunities for young people throughout the Arab world, is currently working with officials, processing wannabe-work migrants-to-Qatar’s applications.
Silatech's representative in Yemen Mohammed al-Maitami was quoted by al-Shorfa as saying on the matter, “Yemeni workers will receive training and qualification based on the specifications of Silatech, which will work in partnership with the Yemeni side and Qatari private sector establishments.2
"The agreement will serve both countries, as it will fill Qatar's labour market needs in terms of the public works projects it will implement in preparation for hosting the World Cup in 2022, while providing work for Yemeni labourers and reducing unemployment rates in Yemen," said Deputy Minister of Social Affairs and Labour for the Workforce Sector Nabil al-Suhaibi.