- Located in the Middle East, with coast along the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea, Yemen used to be two separate states. The North Yemen belonged to the Ottoman Empire and the South was a protectorate of the British Empire. The north gained independence in 1918 after the Ottoman Empire′s disintegration and the south gained independence from Britain when they left the region in 1967, in which the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation.
The two states formally amalgamated to form one nation, the Republic of Yemen, in 1990. Yemen′s capital, Sana′a, apart from being incredibly romantic and intriguing is holds claim to being the oldest city in the world.
Yemen, which is located in the Middle East bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Red sea, and is situated between Oman and Saudi Arabia, used to be two separate states, North Yemen and South Yemen. North Yemen became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1918 during its disintegration. The British, who had a protectorate to the south in the port of Aden, withdrew from the region in 1967. Two years after the British departure from the region the south adopted a Marxist orientated government. A massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from the south to the north led to two decades of intense hostilities between the states, which saw occasional fighting along the border. The two states formally reunited as a unified republic of Yemen in 1990. A southern independent movement attempt in 1994 was quickly dissipated. The country since then has endured numerous terrorist attacks, mainly targeting western interests in the region such as oil, banking and aviation.
The Yemenite government has decided to merge two plans, both the Five Year Plan and the Poverty Reduction Strategy, in attempt to make healthcare affordable and accessible to the average Yemenite. Both of these policy documents explicitly line out the need to create a financing mechanism, which is possible in Yemen’s bleak finance situation, which can help to achieve affordable and accessible healthcare access to all Yemenite citizens. The Yemenite government by combining these two plans has set in motion an ambitious and promising initiative for implementing a national health insurance system. This is not the first time that a solution to Yemen’s deteriorating health system has been raised, though due to past social, political and economic reasons they have never been able to be implemented.
One leading indicator which shows how bad the state of health is in Yemen is the age expectancy. It is the lowest in the region by far and even behind severely impoverished and starving countries like North Korea. The expected age of an average Yemenite is approximately 63.27 years, a full 3 years behind the world average of 66.54 years of age. Another key indicator which shows the severity of Yemen’s situation is the high infant mortality rate of 54.70, also the worst for its region.
Overall Yemen has a fairly poor healthcare system. Most expatriates in the Yemen region opt to be transferred to Oman or Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. However with the government optimistic they have got it right with their new health initiatives, if Yemen can sort out their social problems, the future is bright. The only way to avoid these issues and concerns of the Yemeni healthcare system is through a quality international health insurance plan. These Yemen expat health insurance plans give you the flexibility to go to the doctor or hospital of your choice, meaning that no matter where in the world you may be located, from Afghanistan to the United States of America, you will always be able to receive the highest standard of care available.
Yemen Travel Tips
Whenever you travel overseas it is often useful to understand the local laws and customs in the destination country, as they can often be very different to your own. The Yemeni legal system is based upon Sharia principles; therefore there are a few differences in culture which are worth noting as to avoid possible trouble. As such we have provided some Yemeni travel advice so that you may stay safe and better enjoy your travels, throughout Yemen.
Please be advised that the information contained on this page is not fully comprehensive and may be liable to change without prior warning; as such you should consult a travel expert or your local embassy prior to departing on your journey.
- It is advised, both by the Australian and the British government, all but essential travel to Yemen. In recent year′s kidnappings, bombings, and terrorist acts have been a common occurrence in Yemen, in and outside Sana′a, the capital city.
- Recently on 15 March 2009 a group of South Korean nationals were attacked at Shibam in Hadramaut Governorate. Four South Koreans are known to have died.
- Regional developments and disturbances are likely to cause riots and civil unrest in and around Sana′a; it is therefore advised to remain indoors when such violent demonstrations are happening.
- If you wish to venture outside Sana′a at anytime during your visit to Yemen you will need to obtain prior clearance from the Yemeni Tourist Police. Many incidents which foreign nationals have required consular assistance from embassies included breaching this law.
- Terrorism threats remain high in Yemen, if you plan to go on a tour or a planned trip it is strongly advised that you are escorted either by local officials or military personnel.
- You should take all the necessary steps to protect yourself in public areas and you should make sure that you have confidence in your individual security arrangements. You should maintain a high level of vigilance in public places and avoid places frequented by foreign travelers and expatriates such as hotels, restaurants and tourist sites, which are judged by intelligence agencies to be a more likely target for terrorist attacks.
- Some violent tribes are heavily armed and have a tradition of kidnapping foreigners to publicize their grievances, to collect ransoms or to further their case in disputes with the government. Such kidnappings have occurred recently in the capital Sana′a as well as in the Governorates of al-Jawf, Abyan, Sa′dah, Dhamar, ′Amran, Ma′rib, Shabwah and Abyan.
- Since 2004, the Yemeni government has been fighting an armed uprising by the al Huthi movement and their supporters in Sa′ dah, in northern Yemen. Foreigners have not been targeted, but hundreds of Yemeni soldiers and civilians have been killed in the fighting. If fighting does break out during your stay you are advised to take heavy shelter or to return to your place of residence.
- The disturbances in Aden, Lahij and al-Dhali′, have resulted in closures of the Aden-Sana′a road. These have been short-lived but if you intend to travel by road you should check that the road is open and safe before starting your journey.
- It is possible to drive on an international drivers license whilst in Yemen
- Driving standards in Yemen are of the lowest quality and road accidents are extremely common.
- Avoid all road travel at night times, it is extremely dangerous as bandits patrol roads at these times, as well as roads being generally poorly lit.
- At all times you are expected to dress modestly and act in an appropriate manner. Consuming alcohol in public is strictly forbidden.
Located in the Middle East, with coast along the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea, Yemen used to be two separate states. The North Yemen belonged to the Ottoman Empire and the South was a protectorate of the British Empire. The north gained independence in 1918 after the Ottoman Empire′s disintegration and the south gained independence from Britain when they left the region in 1967, in which the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation. The two states formally amalgamated to form one nation, the Republic of Yemen, in 1990. Yemen′s capitol, Sana′a, apart from being incredibly romantic and intriguing holds claim to being the oldest city in the world.
Whenever you travel to a new country it can be daunting and because of this it is often important to have some background information on your destination. Because of this we have provided a general outline of Yemen below. Please be advised that information contained in this page is subject to change without prior warning or knowledge, and as such you should consult an expert for the most accurate details.
Official Name: Republic of Yemen
Location: Yemen is located in between Saudi Arabia to the north and Oman to the East. It also has coastline that lies on the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
Size: Yemen has a size area of 527,970 sq km′s, comparatively slightly smaller then Kenya.
Climate: Yemen can be quite hot and humid on the west coast and quite hot and dry on the east coast and in the desert region.
Population: Yemen′s population is approximately 23.8 million people.
Life expectancy at birth: The life expectancy of an average Yemeni citizen is 63.27 years old.
Major illnesses: There is a high risk that whilst in Yemen you will catch a major illness, the sorts of illnesses that are prone in Yemen are; food and water borne bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and typhoid fever. Vector borne dengue fever and malaria, and water contact disease schistosomiasis.
Ethnicities: There is predominately Arabs in Yemen; however there are also a few Afro-Arabs, Indians and Europeans as well.
Religion: Predominately Muslim including Sunni and Shia′s, there are small Jewish and Christian groups in Yemen as well.
Government: Yemen is a republic in which the head of state is elected directly by the people.
Head of State: The current president of Yemen is Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Economy: Yemen is one of the poorer countries in the Arab world; it reported average annual growth of 3-4% from 2000 to 2007 whereas its close neighbors Oman and Saudi Arabia were reporting growths of up to 9%. In 2008 growth dropped below 3% due to the fall in oil prices and the onset of the financial crisis, which significantly reduced the amount of aid which Yemen received from international donors. In 2006 Yemen began attempts to bolster its non oil revenue; it is in the process of developing not only liquefied gas fields but also harvesting its large reserves of salts.
GDP: Yemen has a GDP purchasing power of $55.25 billion USD