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Population Distribution and Development

Dr.  Qais Ahmed Al-Mohammadi

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The population problem represents an obstacle to development and will continue to threaten development programs even though the area of ​​Yemen exceeds (555,000 km2 ).  Once we look at this number, we wonder why the conflict is renewed?!  Why is the population concentrated in certain areas and not others?!  Because the uninhabited areas are not ready for exploitation?!  These are questions that impose themselves and require the search for answers.                   

        The obvious fact is that Yemen's vast area - compared to the current population - represents an opportunity to be supportive of peace and development, provided that a balance is achieved in the distribution of the current population over the various regions and lands where there are exploitable natural resources such as Al-Mahra and Al-Jawf governorates.

        Our Yemeni society will remain inconsistent with advanced societies and will remain unstable due to the renewal of conflicts from time to time, and because of the continuing dangers and population, environmental, economic and social problems.  Therefore, one of the vital priority issues is to raise society and reach a high level of intellectual, cultural and technological maturity, and we must transcend periods of underdevelopment and food insecurity, and then move on to addressing our problems constructively and inventing long-term radical reforms, and following urgent measures aimed to direct the energies and capabilities of society towards sustainable development.                      

       The increase in population and its concentration in specific cities in which there are many risks may make it one of the main and influencing factors in Yemen’s problems, especially that the population problem in our country is complex in several respects, including : the  first is the sufficient to meet their needs. The second is the result of the weak skills and capabilities of a large number of the population - due to ignorance and underdevelopment - in providing and using the means of production. The third is the absence or non-implementation of development plans and the entrenchment of corruption;  Thus, the demographic distribution of Yemen's population does not comply with the minimum rules and methods for optimal exploitation of the various types of natural and economic resources.                   



       It is painful for society to depend on importing the majority of its needs from abroad, and this causes the risks of economic dependence on foreigners, although Yemen possesses lands with varied terrain and climates, with large areas capable of reclamation, and suitable for producing the finest types of agricultural products, and Yemen has a long coastline with a length of (  2520 km), and despite this, we note the concentration of the population in the countryside and in the main city centers. 


       It is logical that population movements and their livelihood are linked to the abundance of resources and sources of livelihood, and this explains the presence of a small number of people who live near industrial areas. These few industrial areas can not absorb more people coming from rural areas.                                  

To address this critical issue, we urgently need to know the appropriate size of the population in each region of our country, and in this regard it is not enough to focus on mere number and land area if society is not prepared - in all respects - for production and optimal exploitation of all natural resources using the latest methods and modern technologies.  We need to link the financial, economic and social systems with sustainable agricultural and livestock development programs with finding solutions and treatments for population problems through population redistribution through direct and indirect state intervention for country (the government, the private sector and civil society organizations).                                   

        It is possible to learn or be guided by the experiences of many successful countries in development, especially those that followed strategies and measures that included reducing military expenditures and directing the difference from them towards sustainable development programs. Other countries have also exploited knowledge and technology capital in parallel with the good use of large natural resources.

        Water and food security is achieved through matrix planning and balanced among a number of overlapping factors that include population and resources and their management so as to take into account all the variables and the optimal population size in each region, empower the residents of those areas, provide acceptable infrastructure, and control the rate of internal and external migration in these areas  .                

       Historically, Yemenis built many civilizations, and they were known for their superior ability to adapt and innovate in engineering of palaces, barriers, dams, irrigation channels and terraces, and their construction. In return, they have been exposed since antiquity to many threats, most notably internal conflicts, and this causes many problems. Are we ready to stop the conflicts and return to civilizational development with the thought of the modern era and its measures ?!

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