Yemen’s Water Crisis

Summary: in the midst of a terrible war, Yemen is stalked by another enemy, one that Yemenis know far too much about and the world far too little.
We thank Helen Lackner for today’s article. She has worked in Yemen since the 1970s and lived there for nearly 15 years, and writes about the country’s political, social and economic issues.

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2 thoughts on “Yemen’s Water Crisis”

  1. Alan Waddams suggested that the GCC might usefully bring Yemen into its fold. I remember discussing this with the late Sultan Qaboos in 2003 or 2004. He was politely firm in dismissing the idea, for the reasons Alan gives: difference in population, economic structures (or lack of them), governance (or lack of it), etc. As for GCC joint economic support for Yemen, I was given short shrift when (on instructions) I tried this with the Kuwaitis in 2006 or 2007: memories of Ali Abdullah Saleh’s stance after the Iraqi invasion of 1990 were bitter and undimmed.

  2. In the last paragraph of Helen’s article she suggests that the GCC should do something to aid Yemen in its water crisis.
    In my dealings with the GCC some two decades ago, I suggested several times that the GCC could usefully benefit Yemen by including it in its ranks, rather than leaving it isolated as the only country on the Arabian Peninsula which was not in the GCC.
    This suggestion was always met at the least with disinterest and at worst with outright dismissal (by the Saudis). There are some obvious reasons for this – relatively large population, greater poverty, complex political past with the bloody struggle between North and South Yemen and so on.
    Notwithstanding the difficulties of such an enterprise, might it not be possible to imagine that some of the horrific problems facing Yemen now including those of war and water, might have been alleviated?

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