Yemen to become poorest country in the world
War-ravaged Yemen is on course to become the world’s poorest country if the conflict persists, the United Nations said in a report.
“If fighting continues through 2022, Yemen will rank the poorest country in the world, with 79 percent of the population living under the poverty line and 65 percent classified as extremely poor,” according to the United Nations Development Programme report, published on Wednesday.
Because of the war, poverty in Yemen has jumped from 47 percent of the population in 2014 to a projected 75 percent by the end of 2019.
Hadi loyalists advance against Houthi strongholds
Joint Yemeni forces have made vast territorial gains against the Houthis in the southern province of Dhale and closed in on the neighbouring province of Ibb, military sources have confirmed.
The progress comes after a massive offensive launched on Tuesday by both southern separatists and Hadi loyalists against the Houthis in the northern and western parts of Dhale, the province’s media centre reported.
The onslaught resulted in recapture of dozens of positions and villages from the Houthis and inflicting heavy casualties on them, according to the centre.
“The Southern Forces are steadily advancing towards liberating [Al Houthi-controlled] province of Ibb,” Col. Majed Al Shouaibi, the spokesman for the Joint Southern Forces, said.
Known as the “gate of the south” Dhale is a major military flashpoint.
The Yemeni forces confirmed the seizure of weapons including drones.
Yemen is losing its heritage to looters
Yemen’s government has asked Washington to prevent the sale of Yemeni antiquities and artifacts in America, Saba News Agency reported on Wednesday.
Minister of Culture Marwan Dammaj said that a consultative panel from the American government is set to convene on 29 October to discuss the Yemeni government’s request to ban illegal trafficking of Yemeni artefacts in the country. Dammaj said that his government’s request was made based on Article 9 of the UNESCO agreement, adding that Yemen endorsed the article last September.
He pointed out that the Yemeni embassy in Washington is making efforts to prevent trade in Yemeni artefacts.
The internationally-backed Yemeni government accused the Houthi group of smuggling the antiquities out of the country as part of their plan to eradicate the country’s historical symbols.
According to Saba, the Yemeni Ministry of Culture has stopped 52 attempts to smuggle artefacts through Al-Mazyoona Crossing.