Midway Reflection

The most poignant question I have found myself asking about the dire situation in Yemen is how to fix it? To date, the only answer I can think of is an investment in human capital. The reason I say this is because I have been privileged enough to meet several great field grade Army officers through ROTC. They all say the same thing, investing in people is how you solve problems across a million-person organization, like the Army.
Perhaps a similar means for resolve as simple as it sounds could benefit Yemen. As dire as the illiteracy rates are and how alarming the lack of media coverage due to depleted infrastructure are in Yemen, maybe investing in human capital and institutions could aid in this cause.
It is worth noting, the World Bank has provided immense aid to Yemen, to the tune of billions of dollars. While helpful, this has not resolved the “greatest humanitarian crisis” in the world to date.
Source-Reflections and lessons learned from Yemen (worldbank.org)
Specifically, I believe that providing funding directly to Yemeni news outlets is the path forward to resolve.
The fact that being anyone within the press or even staff of say a newspaper company such as Al-Masdar is not only risky, it also does not pay. The more I study Yemen, I notice that salaries of individuals within the civil service and media sectors often go unpaid.
This same funding issue also relates to advertising, simply put newspapers aren’t going out to a public where millions can’t even read!

literacy in yemen

What is even more alarming, more than 75 per cent of women living in rural areas are illiterate, and more than 40 per cent of urban women, according to recent statistics of the Sanaa-based Unicef. Did I mention that about 70 per cent of Yemen’s population of 22 million live in rural areas.
Source-Yemeni women ‘struggle to overcome illiteracy’ | Yemen – Gulf News
This is why I specifically urge for more advocation to invest in the education of Yemeni youth, especially girls.
Supporting legislation via funding and giving public demand a voice via a functioning civil sector is critical. If this is done, Yemeni people will be empowered, more equipped to enter the workforce, and will be enabled to be active participants in Yemeni politics.
Reading, writing and learning also involve vital creative and critical thinking skills which includes problem solving. Literacy facilitates communication, empathy, decision making and negotiation—all of which are part of the lifeblood of any functioning state
However, the more I research the more I see that Yemen’s situation continues to deteriorate. “An increasing dropout rate in the education system and high conflict causing other basic needs to take priority, it is easy for literacy to get lost in Yemen.”
While I still believe that if proper help is provided in the right places, Yemen can rebound. A political focus on literacy could yield fruitful societal advances.
Source-Literacy Rate in Yemen – The Borgen Project

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