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Yemen Yemen:Geography
Location: Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and
Red Sea, between Oman and Saudi Arabia
Map references: Middle East
total area: 527,970 sq km
land area: 527,970 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than twice the size of Wyoming
note: includes Perim, Socotra, the former Yemen Arab Republic (YAR or
North Yemen), and the former People's Democratic Republic of Yemen
(PDRY or South Yemen)
Land boundaries: total 1,746 km, Oman 288 km, Saudi Arabia 1,458 km
Coastline: 1,906 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 18 nm in the North; 24 nm in the South
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
International disputes: undefined section of boundary with Saudi
Arabia; a treaty with Oman defining the Yemeni-Omani boundary was
ratified in December 1992
Climate: mostly desert; hot and humid along west coast; temperate in
western mountains affected by seasonal monsoon; extraordinarily hot,
dry, harsh desert in east
Terrain: narrow coastal plain backed by flat-topped hills and rugged
mountains; dissected upland desert plains in center slope into the
desert interior of the Arabian Peninsula
Natural resources: petroleum, fish, rock salt, marble, small deposits
of coal, gold, lead, nickel, and copper, fertile soil in west
Land use:
arable land: 6%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 30%
forest and woodland: 7%
other: 57%
Irrigated land: 3,100 sq km (1989 est.)
current issues: very limited natural fresh water resources; inadequate
supplies of potable water; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
natural hazards: sandstorms and dust storms in summer
international agreements: party to - Environmental Modification, Law
of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity,
Climate Change
Note: controls Bab el Mandeb, the strait linking the Red Sea and the
Gulf of Aden, one of world's most active shipping lanes Yemen:People
Population: 14,728,474 (July 1995 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 50% (female 3,551,953; male 3,776,358)
15-64 years: 48% (female 3,505,735; male 3,508,229)
65 years and over: 2% (female 216,210; male 169,989) (July 1995 est.)
Population growth rate: 4.02% (1995 est.)
Birth rate: 44.85 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Death rate: 8.01 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Net migration rate: 3.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 58.2 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 62.51 years
male: 61.57 years
female: 63.5 years (1995 est.)
Total fertility rate: 7.15 children born/woman (1995 est.)
noun: Yemeni(s)
adjective: Yemeni
Ethnic divisions: predominantly Arab; Afro-Arab concentrations in
western coastal locations; South Asians in southern regions; small
European communities in major metropolitan areas
Religions: Muslim including Sha'fi (Sunni) and Zaydi (Shi'a), small
numbers of Jewish, Christian, and Hindu
Languages: Arabic
Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1990 est.)
total population: 38%
male: 53%
female: 26%
Labor force: no reliable estimates exist, most people are employed in
agriculture and herding or as expatriate laborers; services,
construction, industry, and commerce account for less than half of the
labor force Yemen:Government
conventional long form: Republic of Yemen
conventional short form: Yemen
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Yamaniyah
local short form: Al Yaman
Digraph: YM
Type: republic
Capital: Sanaa
Administrative divisions: 17 governorates (muhafazat, singular -
muhafazah); Abyan, Adan, Al Bayda, Al Hudaydah, Al Jawf, Al Mahrah, Al
Mahwit, Dhamar, Hadramaut, Hajjah, Ibb, Lahij, Marib, Sadah, Sana,
Shabwah, Taizz
note: there may be a new governorate for the capital city of Sanaa
Independence: 22 May 1990 Republic of Yemen was established on 22 May
1990 with the merger of the Yemen Arab Republic {Yemen (Sanaa) or
North Yemen} and the Marxist-dominated People's Democratic Republic of
Yemen {Yemen (Aden) or South Yemen}; previously North Yemen had become
independent on NA November 1918 (from the Ottoman Empire) and South
Yemen had become independent on 30 November 1967 (from the UK)
National holiday: Proclamation of the Republic, 22 May (1990)
Constitution: 16 May 1991
Legal system: based on Islamic law, Turkish law, English common law,
and local tribal customary law; does not accept compulsory ICJ
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Ali Abdallah SALIH (since 22 May 1990, the
former president of North Yemen); Vice President Abd al-Rab Mansur
al-HADI (since NA October 1994)
head of government: Prime Minister Abd al-Aziz ABD AL-GHANI (since NA
October 1994)
cabinet: Council of Ministers
Legislative branch: unicameral
House of Representatives: elections last held 27 April 1993 (next to
be held NA 1997); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (301
total) GPC 124, Islaah 61, YSP 55, others 13, independents 47,
election nullified 1
Judicial branch: Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders: over 40 political parties are active in
Yemen, but only three project significant influence; since the
May-July 1994 civil war, President SALIH's General People's Congress
(GPC) and Shaykh Abdallah bin Husayn al-AHMAR's Yemeni Grouping for
Reform, or Islaah, have joined to form a coalition government; the
Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP), headed by Ali Salih UBAYD, has regrouped
as a loyal opposition
Other political or pressure groups: NA
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Muhsin Ahmad al-AYNI
chancery: Suite 705, 2600 Virginia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 965-4760, 4761
FAX: [1] (202) 337-2017
US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador David NEWTON
embassy: Dhahr Himyar Zone, Sheraton Hotel District, Sanaa
mailing address: P. O. Box 22347 Sanaa; Sanaa, Department of State,
Washington, DC 20521-6330
telephone: [967] (1) 238843 through 238852
FAX: [967] (1) 251563
Flag: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black;
similar to the flag of Syria which has two green stars and of Iraq
which has three green stars (plus an Arabic inscription) in a
horizontal line centered in the white band; also similar to the flag
of Egypt which has a symbolic eagle centered in the white band Economy
Overview: Whereas the northern city Sanaa is the political capital of
a united Yemen, the southern city Aden, with its refinery and port
facilities, is the economic and commercial capital. Future economic
development depends heavily on Western-assisted development of the
country's moderate oil resources. Former South Yemen's willingness to
merge stemmed partly from the steady decline in Soviet economic
support. The low level of domestic industry and agriculture has made
northern Yemen dependent on imports for practically all of its
essential needs. Once self-sufficient in food production, northern
Yemen has become a major importer. Land once used for export crops -
cotton, fruit, and vegetables - has been turned over to growing a
shrub called qat, whose leaves are chewed for their stimulant effect
by Yemenis and which has no significant export market. Economic growth
in former South Yemen has been constrained by a lack of incentives,
partly stemming from centralized control over production decisions,
investment allocation, and import choices. Yemen's large trade
deficits have been compensated for by remittances from Yemenis working
abroad and by foreign aid. Since the Gulf crisis, remittances have
dropped substantially. Growth in 1994-95 is constrained by low oil
prices, rapid inflation, and political deadlock that are causing a
lack of economic cooperation and leadership. However, a peace
agreement with Saudi Arabia in February 1995 and the expectation of a
rise in oil prices brighten Yemen's economic prospects.
National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $23.4 billion (1994
National product real growth rate: -1.4% (1994 est.)
National product per capita: $1,955 (1994 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 145% (1994 est.)
Unemployment rate: 30% (December 1994)
revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA
Exports: $1.75 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: crude oil, cotton, coffee, hides, vegetables, dried and
salted fish
partners: Germany 28%, Japan 15%, UK 9%, Austria 7%, China 7% (1992)
Imports: $2.65 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: textiles and other manufactured consumer goods, petroleum
products, sugar, grain, flour, other foodstuffs, cement, machinery,
partners: US 16%, UK 7%, Japan 6%, France 6%, Italy 6% (1992)
External debt: $7 billion (1993)
Industrial production: growth rate NA%, accounts for 18% of GDP
capacity: 810,000 kW
production: 1.8 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 149 kWh (1993)
Industries: crude oil production and petroleum refining; small-scale
production of cotton textiles and leather goods; food processing;
handicrafts; small aluminum products factory; cement
Agriculture: accounts for 26% of GDP; products - grain, fruits,
vegetables, qat (mildly narcotic shrub), coffee, cotton, dairy,
poultry, meat, fish; not self-sufficient in grain
Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $389 million;
Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments
(1970-89), $2 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $3.2 billion;
Communist countries (1970-89), $2.4 billion
Currency: Yemeni rial (new currency); 1 North Yemeni riyal (YR) = 100
fils; 1 South Yemeni dinar (YD) = 1,000 fils
note: following the establishment of the Republic of Yemen on 22 May
1990, the North Yemeni riyal and the South Yemeni dinar are to be
replaced with a new Yemeni rial
Exchange rates: Yemeni rials per US$1 - 12.0 (official); 90 (market
rate, December 1994)
Fiscal year: calendar year Yemen:Transportation
Railroads: 0 km
total: 51,390 km
paved: 4,830 km
unpaved: 46,560 km (1992 est.)
Pipelines: crude oil 644 km; petroleum products 32 km
Ports: Aden, Al Hudaydah, Al Mukalla, Mocha, Nishtun
Merchant marine:
total: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 12,059 GRT/18,563 DWT
ships by type: cargo 1, oil tanker 2
total: 46
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 2
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 4
with unpaved runways over 3,047 m: 2
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 10
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 12 Yemen:Communications
Telephone system: 65,000 telephones; since unification in 1990,
efforts are still being made to create a national domestic civil
telecommunications network
local: NA
intercity: the network consists of microwave radio relay, cable, and
international: 3 INTELSAT (2 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean), 1
Intersputnik, and 2 ARABSAT earth stations; microwave radio relay to
Saudi Arabia and Djibouti
broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 1, shortwave 0
radios: NA
broadcast stations: 10
televisions: NA Yemen:Defense Forces
Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, paramilitary (includes Police)
Manpower availability: males age 15-49 3,135,649; males fit for
military service 1,771,226; males reach military age (14) annually
181,057 (1995 est.)
Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $1.65 billion, 7.1%
of GDP (1993)
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