Coronavirus and salaries cut off.. six million Yemenis on compulsory roads to death

By: Zakria Al-Shar’abi

Three years and a few months since the legitimacy government backed by Saudi coalition, transferred the central bank from Sana’a to Aden.

By This decision Saudi backed government has taken collective punishment on all country employees in the areas under the control of Sana’a authority that represent 80% who represent 80% of total employees, by cutting off their salaries.

This measure participate to cause the worst humanitarian disaster in the world, according to United Nations assessments, and state employees became in a deplorable state.

Months passed and the legitimacy who announced when the bank transferred that it will continue to pay the salaries of these employees, imposing starvation on them, using their living as a politician pressure tool over  Sana’a authority, although these employees have not relation with Sana’a authority, and they perform service roles for society.

With the spread of Coronavirus, all over the world, and the increased risk of it spreading, which suffer the worst humanitarian disaster in the world, 700,000 Yemeni employees live, and support at least six million people, are in front of two roads, both of which lead to death, either struggle against hunger that means getting coronavirus,  or commitment to home quarantine, and die by starvation. This is if the domestic quarantine not being imposed forcibly in this devastated country in a period of five years.

This is what on the minds of employees, who respond to the invitations to stay at home, with a question from the depth of suffering: from where will we eat! Expressing that their getting out of homes is not a luxury, as there is no longer a luxury for Yemeni citizen more than returning home with his daily living?

“Nabil,” a biology teacher at a government school in the capital, Sana’a, performs his duty in the morning, and returns at noon to sell water bottles on the main street, he says that life has become difficult and tragic. He can barely bring the food for his five children and the cost of his mother medicine who suffer from diabetes and gangrene in her feet. If life is like this and Corona is still far from Yemen. So how would it be if Coronavirus spread in the country, and the streets became empty of people!!

Nabil who refrained of any appeal to any party in order to pressure on legitimacy government to hand over their salaries, added: Allah is the only who able to protect us…

The writer and journalist Akram Abdel-Fattah says that the government sector employees in Yemen are beside the ranks of the unemployed after their salaries were interrupted 3 years ago. They were forced to seek for a job in the sector of direct services with direct wages to gain their living day by day.

Abdel Fattah notes that such a situation “left its harsh mark on people’s standard of living and social lifestyles. In an exhausted society by the blockade and the starvation war that included suffocating the economy and cutting the income sources for five years. It is normal that people consume their savings, until it run out gradually; they have no other way but to get used to live with little.

Abdel-Fattah believes that “talking about imposing precautionary measures to prevent an outbreak of Corona epidemic appears to be a kind of theoretical that impossible to apply, because thoughts like (quarantine, isolation, social estrangement, curfew for weeks …) all mean one thing, depriving them of their livelihood. The fact that abiding by, it means accepting to be dead through starvation in their homes.

Salaries-people’s living” not negotiable ”

During the past three years all political attempts to discuss the salaries file failed, with the legitimacy’s insisting on collective punishment measures against the citizens, in the areas under Sanaa’s control, and disavowing any discussion on the file.

According to the Yemeni economic expert Rasheed Al-Haddad confronting Coronavirus which represent a fateful issue, it goes beyond conflicts, it should imposed by a moral obligation.

In addition to being legal on the legitimate government, that controls the functions of the Central Bank of Yemen, and control 85% of the country’s general revenues, to fulfill their made promises when transferring the Central Bank to Aden Likewise, in the Swedish agreement to pay state employees.

Al-Haddad stresses that the international envoy to Yemen, who opened the salary file of the state’s employees, who have been stalled,  for three years, during the past days, through his communication with the two parties, must make a breakthrough in this aspect, thereby ending the suffering of the employees.

Al-Haddad indicates that the international community, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are concerned today to pressure legitimacy government to pay the salaries of all country employees. Or stop dealing with the Bank of Aden and return the bank’s jobs to Sana’a, Providing emergency assistance to the Sana’a government to fulfill its duty towards all the country employees.