Sana’a (GPA) – Sana’a’s revolutionary government recently revealed a 2030 Yemen National Vision strategy to lift the country into the modern era. The National Vision will enact sweeping reforms to empower women, impoverished populations, marginalized groups, those with special needs, and people throughout all aspects of society.
Unsurprisingly, the Yemen National Vision release went completely unmentioned by mainstream media which chooses to write off Yemen’s National Salvation Government as violent, reactionary, and unreasonable “Iranian-backed rebels.”
Plagued by corruption and lack of accountability for decades, the National Vision Strategy spans broad swaths of the private and public sector as well as civil society. The strategy outlines detailed plans for 12 themes to create a sustainable structure for Yemen by 2030 and beyond.
The recently revealed Yemen National Vision strategy once again shows that Ansarullah is not a reactionary militia taking orders from Iran as the media claims but rather a grassroots political movement determined to unite and develop the country in the name of progress.
Some key highlights mentioned within the 12 themes include the following points.
• Combating rampant poverty by financially empowering marginalized groups and regions
• Rural development and support to avoid migration into cities
• Urban development and improving public services
• Defending the country against ISIS-style terrorism, sectarianism, and foreign aggression
• Reaching out to foreign governments and establishing diplomatic relations
• Supporting national unity and reconciliation in Yemen’s pluralist society
• Developing an Environmental Protection Agency
• Creating a National Commission to empower women: increasing women’s participation in the labor force to 30% and preventing violence against women
• Forming a sustainable and prosperous economy ripe for foreign investment and national innovation
• Restructuring the wage and employment system
• Judicial and legislative reform
• Improving education for everyone including those with special needs
• Revitalizing the failing healthcare system
BACKGROUND: Yemen’s Ansarullah movement — referred to simply as “the Houthis” throughout mainstream media — gradually took control of the capital beginning on September 21 of 2014 after the Saudi-backed puppet President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi resigned and ultimately fled to Riyadh where he currently resides in a hotel. Hadi assumed power after an election orchestrated in Riyadh behind closed doors in which he was the only candidate. After taking control of the capital, Ansarullah formed a National Salvation Government with allies. Despite the deadly aggression and siege by some of the most powerful militaries in the world, Ansarullah has managed to eradicate al-Qaeda and ISIS terrorism in territory under their control, empowered some of Yemen’s most impoverished regions, and expansively developed Yemen’s defensive military capabilities.
Yemen National Vision Strategy for the Modern State: “A Hand for Protecting and a Hand for Building”
Yemeni officials identified 39 specific challenges which they broke down into the following categories to carry out solutions. Despite the devastating war and siege against the country, Yemen’s revolutionary government plans to begin implementing the plan this year in three phases:
- Steadfast resistance and recovery: 2019-2020
- Institutional structure, reconstruction, and strengthening foundations for stability: 2021-2025
- National advancement and excellence: 2026-2030
“The Republic of Yemen has yet to enjoy having a stable state that carries out the role, functions, and values of a state under duly recognized standards. Therefore, today, we are launching this National Vision to lay out the terms for building the Government. In other words, building of a nation based on foundations, principles and serious national values. This would include carrying out reforms and working for development of the country. We look forward to establishing a strong and unified Yemen with just and capable institutions that can carry out its basic functions of Government and provide services to citizens.”
President of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, Mahdi Mohammed al-Mashat
Comprehensive National Reconciliation and Political Settlement
The first theme focuses on stabilizing the country through political reconciliation among various Yemeni factions and political parties.
The US-backed Saudi-led war against Yemen has splintered the nation into rival groups and tribes vying for interest. Ansarullah’s reconciliation plan seeks to resume the internal political process with the goals of preserving Yemen’s sovereignty and independence.
The second Yemen National Vision objective contains everything Washington claims to support but fails to do so in practice: a system of governance based on progressive and democratic foundations.
Through this objective, Ansarullah and their allies will lay the foundation for a new constitution which will only be put into action after a popular referendum. This theme focuses on combatting corruption and improving transparency on the local and national level.
Also included in this objective are basic rights, freedoms, liberties, and a free press. This theme protects civilians against discrimination and includes a “know your rights” program.
Ansarullah also plans to grant amnesty to more political prisoners and create special laws to protect women, children, and individuals with special needs.
Under this sweeping theme, Ansarullah plans to unite and heal the country from past conflicts and tribalism while preserving Yemen’s indigenous heritage and culture.
This theme also has a specific goal of combatting poverty. Poor populations will benefit from various economic empowerment programs.
• Women — especially women heads of the household — will receive credit programs.
• Education will be mandatory and free.
• Poor populations will have access to a food security program.
After over four years of sanctions and blockade, Yemen’s economy has deteriorated. This theme will diversify the economy to accelerate recovery with effective investments of natural and human resources.
The goal is to create a self-sufficient economy that stimulates development.
Beyond attracting foreign investment, the Yemen National Vision includes a national program for women’s economic empowerment. The goal is to increase women’s participation in the labor force to at least 30%. As of 2018, women made up less than 6% of the labor force.
Unemployment is also a major economic problem in Yemen — especially among qualified and educated youth. The national unemployment rate reached is expected to climb to almost 15% in 2020 without implementation of the National Vision. This theme would tackle the general unemployment rate by launching professional vocational training programs for small industries, crafts, and other professions.
Of course, Ansarullah plans to expand Yemen’s oil, gas, and mineral exploration so Yemenis can reap the benefits rather than international corporations. This theme also includes plans to improve renewable energy sources, IT development, and general infrastructure. Under the war, Yemen has already been forced to expand its reliance on solar power.
This theme completely overhauls Yemen’s administrative network and rehabilitating national human resource development.
A new wage system will be introduced as well to address the problem of missing salaries due to the Saudi-imposed blockade. Many public sector workers including teachers, doctors, engineers, and trash collectors have not received adequate salaries in years.
Yemen will also prepare a long-term social security and pension system.
Justice and Rule of Law
This theme completely revitalizes Yemen’s judiciary system and laws for everything from criminal charges, civil litigation, local codes, forensic evidence, real estate ownership, foreclosures, and more.
Under the Yemen National Vision, women, children, and vulnerable groups will have appropriate mechanisms to submit complains without risking harm.
It will also be easier to ensure the protection of women during domestic disputes. Currently, Yemen ranks as the eighth most dangerous country for women in terms of sexual assault, violence, human trafficking, and cultural traditions (the United States ranks in tenth place). The National Vision plan would improve this ranking for the benefit of Yemeni women.
Innovation, Creativity, Knowledge, and Scientific Research
The Yemen National Vision provides a modern solution for encouraging innovation, creativity, knowledge, and scientific research throughout all aspects of society.
Researchers will have access to scientific databases and a national library will open. Ansarullah plans to launch a program for developing digital and intellectual content.
Yemeni children and adults have never had broad access to high-quality education and the war has only made the situation go from bad to worse. According to UNICEF, roughly two million children are not attending school.
This theme seeks to provide exemplary education for all members of society. Goals of the Yemen National Vision include the following in terms of education.
• Expanding pre-primary education for children under five years old
• Reducing the illiteracy rate to under 10% by 2030; the current illiteracy rate is over 50%
• Increasing enrollment rates for teenagers
• Activating an e-learning system
• Improving teacher salaries
• Expanding and developing technical and vocational services for graduates
• Providing higher education to meet the requirements of the labor market
• Developing programs for teachers to participate in continuing education programs
• Expanding childcare departments in public universities
• Providing access to education for people with special needs and low-income children
Similarly to education, the Yemen National Vision will expand and modernize the national healthcare system as a collective responsibility to meet the needs of all people.
Various reforms include the following.
• Expanding and strengthening health services for all citizens
• Improving emergency response services
• Expanding dialysis, liver, cholera, tuberculosis, and cancer treatment centers
• Strengthening disease control and prevention including immunizations of mothers and children
• Developing plans to improve healthcare access at refugee camps
• Expanding access to healthcare in rural areas
• Encouraging healthcare, vaccination, and pharmaceutical investment and manufacturing
• Developing insurance legislation and increasing the number of people enrolled in health insurance
The US-backed war against Yemen has ravaged the country’s environment in countless ways. Ansarullah wants to focus on green development by creating an Environmental Protection Agency and assessing damage from the war.
Documents will also protect natural resources, specific villages, and locations from exploitation. A recycling program will contribute to development.
The Yemen National Vision Strategy will improve the supply of safe drinking water and sanitation networks.
US-supplied Saudi airstrikes destroy dozens of water treatment facilities each month, according to reports Geopolitics Alert receives from the Republic of Yemen. Nearly 30,000 people have reportedly contracted cholera each week this year due to poor access to drinking water. In 2017, Yemen suffered the worst cholera outbreak in global history: over one million people contracted cholera while over 3,000 died.
Defense and Security
A strong national army will protect citizens and their liberties against internal and external threats.
Special police units will have the task of preventing violence against women — especially gender-based domestic violence.
Foreign Policy and National Security
Through the National Vision, Ansarullah and their allies seek to establish external relations with foreign governments and the Yemeni diaspora through embassies and other institutions.
Yemen will continue protecting its islands, coasts, and wealth in the name of development and national interests.
Perhaps most importantly, the Yemen National Vision will combat and eradicate the takfiri ideology imported by Saudi Wahhabism and like-minded groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS which creates sectarian conflict.
Yemen National Vision 2019 by on Scribd
Featured photo: Flickr|Rod Waddington
Founder and editor of Geopolitics Alert, Randi is an American geopolitical analyst and content strategist. She covers US imperialism with a special focus on Yemen and Lebanon.