Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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With limited natural resources, a crippling illiteracy rate, and high population growth, Yemen faces an array of daunting development challenges that some observers believe make it at risk for becoming a failed state in the next few decades. Between 2007 and 2008, it ranked 153 out of 177 countries on the United Nations Development Programmes Human Development Index, a score comparable to the poorest sub-Saharan African countries. Over 43 of the population lives below the poverty line, and per capita GDP is estimated to be between 650 and 800. Yemen is largely dependent on external aid from Persian Gulf countries, Western donors, and international financial institutions, though its per capita share of assistance is below the global average. As the countryssssssss population rapidly rises, resources dwindle, and terrorist groups take root in the outlying provinces, the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress are left to grapple with the consequences of Yemeni instability. Traditionally, U.S.-Yemeni relations have been tepid, as the lack of strong military-to-military ties, commercial relations, and cross cultural exchange has hindered the development of strong bilateral ties. During the early years of the Bush Administration, relations improved under the rubric of the war on terror, though Yemenssssssss lax policy toward wanted terrorists has stalled large scale U.S. support.
- Government and Political Science