Letter to the Participants in the Stockholm Peace Consultations Regarding the Payment of Public Sector Salaries and Pensions
The Development Champions Forum welcomes the inclusion of economic issues on the Stockholm peace consultations agenda, due to the huge impact these issues have on the suffering of Yemenis all over the country. The Development Champions reiterate that ending the war and reaching a just and sustainable peace in Yemen is the only real solution to end the suffering of millions who are bearing the brunt of the war. The Development Champions also support the adoption of any economic steps that might decrease the suffering of Yemenis and contribute to confidence building between the participants at the peace consultations, in the aim of reaching a comprehensive solution.
The Fourth Development Champions Forum, which coincided with the peace talks in Stockholm, discussed urgent economic procedures that could be taken to build confidence, such as those which focused on the payment of salaries to all public-sector employees working in state administration units, as well as the pensions of retirees via the General Authority for Social Security and Pensions. The lack of regularity in the payment of salaries to the state’s administrative apparatus has contributed to the worsening of the humanitarian situation in Yemen, and has also contributed to the collapse of the most important service sectors, most notably the education and healthcare sectors.
The Development Champions would like to stress that according to the civil service register in 2014, the total number of employees working in state administration units is 472,353. These employees in turn provide financial support to more than 3 million people from the total population of Yemen [28 million]. The Development Champions also stated that during 2018, the Government of Yemen paid the salaries of an estimated 51%, or 242,567 employees that work in state administration units – while the remaining civil servants did not receive their salaries on a regular basis over the past two years. The Development Champions welcome the government’s November 2018 payment of retiree’s pensions across the Republic of Yemen. The number of retirees on the register of the General Authority for Social Security and Pensions is more than 123,245 retirees. The Development Champions call upon the government to follow-up on this decision by continuing to pay the pensions on a regular basis across the entire country.
The Development Champions submit the following recommendations to the participants of the peace consultations in Stockholm:
- The Development Champions call upon the Government of Yemen to pay the salaries of all employees in the state administration units all over the Republic of Yemen, in accordance with the Ministry of Civil Service and Pensions’ data for 2014. The payment of the salaries for public sector employees in the education and healthcare sectors should be prioritized, as these two sectors represent 85% of the total number of employees in state administration units. The Development Champions also call upon Ansar Allah to deposit all of the state revenues collected in the areas under their control to accounts specified by the Central Bank in the temporary capital, Aden.
- The Development Champions call upon the Government of Yemen to continue providing liquidity to pay state pensions via the General Authority for Social Security and Pensions and the General Corporation for Social Security to all retirees across the Republic of Yemen. In this regard, the Development Champions reiterate the importance of preserving and not infringing on the resources of the General Authority for Social Security and Pensions and the General Corporation for Social Security.
- Due to the inadequate local resources to cover the payment of salaries, the Development Champions call upon regional and international donors to provide the necessary financial support to cover this salary-related deficit.
- The Development Champions reiterate the importance of all parties working to activate the implementation of the Central Bank Law with the Central Bank of Yemen as a national institution that serves all parts of Yemen and contributes to stabilizing the value of the currency.
- In conclusion, the Development Champions confirm that the rising salary bill for the public sector (including the military and security sectors) is a timebomb that threatens Yemen’s future economic stability because it will be difficult for the state to bear the cost of salaries when a peace agreement is reached. Hence, the Development Champions call upon all parties to stop any additional public sector appointments, and also call upon experts to come up with visions and perspectives on how to solve this problem in the medium- and long-term.
Amman – Jordan
10 December 2018