Publications

White Papers

The Road Transport Sector in Yemen: Critical Issues and Priority Policies

The Road Transport Sector in Yemen: Critical Issues and Priority Policies
The only road between the Yemeni cities Taiz and Aden. After seven years of war, Yemen’s roads are in a derelict state. (AFP)

Yemen is predominantly a rural country, with over 70% of the population living in 140,000 settlements in impoverished rural areas, and road transportation is essential for its development and overall economic growth. With only about 3,744km of paved rural roads, representing approximately 6.4% of all roads in the country, Yemen’s neglected road network poses significant development challenges. The current conflict, in its various forms, has complicated the movement of people and goods between governorates as well as into and out of Yemen. Road transportation costs have risen as much as 145% due to high fuel prices and the need to take alternative long-distance routes. Road infrastructure has also incurred heavy losses because of the conflict, estimated at $1.3 billion, with the total length of damaged roads reaching about 6,000km along with more than 100 bridges. Road projects have been halted due to a lack of financing, which has exacerbated the sector's problems.

Among the most prominent institutional challenges are a lack of effective policies and legislation, rundown equipment and machinery, and personnel and human resources challenges. A shortage of financial resources, which limits the sector’s operations, is the largest obstacle facing road transport authorities.

This white paper offers short-term, medium and long-term recommendations on alleviating the impacts of the war on the road transportation sector; infrastructure policies for rural and urban roads; policies for road maintenance and repairs that impact commercial traffic; and updating the institutional structure of road transportation. 

In the short-term, efforts must be made to boost the sector's role in developing, implementing, and operating intelligent transportation systems for buses and freight trucks to guarantee the security and safety of passengers and streamline payments for cargo. It is also urgent that stalled road projects are resumed. Efforts must also include the restoration of operations at the weigh stations damaged by the war, application of traffic safety laws on roads between governorates to reduce accidents and enhancement of the institutional capacity of road transport institutions. Humanitarian and emergency aid should be directed toward rural roads to bolster these efforts.

In the medium to long term, authorities should establish inland ports at the main entrances to cities, which could help reduce traffic, heavy loads on roads and the price of goods. Efforts should also include a strategic program to expand rural roads in Yemen, assess the current state of the road network, develop international land border ports and facilitate transit procedures. Plans should also be made to develop the legislative, regulatory and institutional framework of the sector to meet current needs and prevent conflicting interests and tasks.

Read also in White Papers

Combating Corruption in Yemen

November 5, 2018 White Papers
This paper presents a detailed analysis of the nature, extent, and evolution of corruption in Yemen from the presidency of Ali Abdullah Saleh to the present day. It first traces the evolution of state capture and administrative corruption over the course of Saleh’s tenure and maps out the patronage system that emerged under his administration. It outlines the official reform efforts…

Private Sector Engagement in Post-Conflict Yemen

August 29, 2018 White Papers
Yemen has spent much of the past 60 years embroiled in armed conflict and political crisis, with this cyclical instability and insecurity among the primary factors that have stymied both private sector development and the establishment of a strong state with well-functioning public institutions. The vast majority of the Yemeni private sector is made up of small or very small businesses,…

Microfinance in Yemen: An Overview of Challenges and Opportunities

April 30, 2020 White Papers
In 1997 microfinance was introduced to Yemen. The government, supported by international donor states, viewed it as a strategic tool to alleviate poverty and reduce unemployment by expanding financial services to small and micro entrepreneurs to increase their share of the national economy. However, persistent challenges facing the microfinance industry have stunted its development, reach…