The Effect of the Arab Spring Revolution on the Yemeni Economy

The Effect of the Arab Spring Revolution on the Yemeni Economy

Maroa Nasser Al Katheri (Lebanese American University, Lebanon)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8247-2.ch005
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The economic and humanitarian conditions of the Yemeni population have been deteriorating. The variable that affects the Yemeni economy is the foreign exchange rate of the Yemeni currency. In 2014, one US Dollar equaled to 240 Yemeni Ryal. In 2018, one US Dollar equals 700 Yemeni Ryal. The massive leap of the value of the Yemeni Ryal against the US Dollar, paired with the stabilization of the public sector occupation salaries, deeply affected the quality of life of the Yemeni citizen. Furthermore, the leap of the Yemeni Ryal value leads to the increase of the merchandise prices as well as the price of public services. The decrease of the value of the Yemeni Ryal against the US Dollar is one variable that is assisting the levels of poverty in Yemen. However, this chapter believes that economic mismanagement and the foreign exchange rate are essential variables that explain the increase of poverty levels in Yemen.
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The Political Background Of The Crisis: Southern Demands For Independence

On February 11, 2011, Yemeni civilians protested against the Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Al Tahreer Squair, Sanaa. Protesters camped in the Squair for a year until Saleh resignation in February 27th, 2012. The Yemeni revolution was marked as one of the Arab Spring revolutions; however the turmoil in Yemen has started far before February 11th, 2011.

In May 22nd, 1990, the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen and the Yemen Arab Republic agreed to be united in the form one country named The Republic of Yemen; refer to figure 1. The Yemeni Unification agreement was monitored by Saudi Arabia and recognized internationally. The unification agreement stated that Ali Abdullah Saleh, president of Yemen Arab Republic, is announced as the head of the state and Ali Salem Albidh, president of the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen. The Unification process which lasted for 30 months after singing the unification contract was a complete failure, which resulted in a civil war in July 1994. The Yemeni civil war of 1994 resulted in grievances between the two nations. Today, people of the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen known as the South, are asking for independence from the North.

Figure 1.

North and South Yemen's map prior to 1990

(Durden, 2018)

In 2007, the first demonstration marched the streets of Aden city, the former capital of People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, demanding separation and the establishment of southern Yemen as an independent country. On April 4th, 2017, the Southern Transitional Council was established as a semi-government to replace the current government and renounce the South as an independent country. United Arab Emeritus recognized the Council. However, the Southern Transitional Council did not carry out its promises to its supporters of southern civilians. Since 2017, the council was not included in any of the negotiations held by the current government and the Saudi led coalition. Furthermore, the council refused to negotiate with any of the other parties to come up with a solution for the Yemeni crisis.

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