The forty-year-old government employee, Mohammad Abdullah, waited for years for this moment when the blessed month of Ramadan begins, which comes after decisive talks and consultations between the parties to the conflict, the most important of which was the dialogue sponsored by the Sultanate of Oman. Many news outlets talked about this particular consultation given the significant files it tackled, especially the file of the payment of a large part of the salaries of civil servants which was agreed to take place before the month of Ramadan.
However, the month of fasting commenced, dispelling the hopes of Muhammad, who works as a teacher in the education sector, and whose salaries have been suspended, like other civil servants, since the beginning of 2017.
Abdullah says to "Khuyut" that: "Many people, especially those of us working in the education sector, were optimistic about the news that accompanied the consultations between the parties to the conflict, specifically regarding the issue of paying public sector salaries, and we thought that Ramadan would come this year while we celebrate receiving our salaries after a long time of interruption, but for astonishment, only half-salary was issued by the government of Sana’a.”
Abdullah touches on an important issue in this regard, which is the talk of many citizens who are surprised at how the Sana’a authority dealt with this issue, saying: “The Ansar Allah (Houthis) authority fails to find serious solutions to improve living conditions and address the issue of salaries, while spending billions Riyals through the Zakat Authority as aid, assistances, etc.
We used to welcome the holy month of Ramadan with great eagerness, and with most of our basic needs provided before my husband, our only breadwinner, passed away.” His presence in the house - according to her speech - was a source of safety for her and her children in light of the solidarity and social support that prevailed in society, but now - She believes - everyone needs help.
This prompted this teacher to leave the morning assembly at the school where he works and stand in a long queue of people who receive humanitarian aids; he believes that the government could have spent these large sums as monthly salaries, whose positive impact will be reflected on every home, especially these days, with the advent of the month of Ramadan.
Hard life and tough consequences
Yemenis suffer from difficult and tragic living conditions exacerbated from year to year due to the war and conflict that has been ongoing in the country for nearly nine years, in light of severe economic crises and deteriorating living conditions affecting all segments of the population. Consequently, thousands of people became unable to provide the most important food needs, especially during the month of Ramadan, which usually witnesses an increase in the level of food consumption that always accompanied by a significant rise in the prices of various commodities and basic food items.
Here is the story of a family consisting of a mother and four children, the eldest of whom is Muneef (16 years old), who stopped learning three years ago when his father died while he was battling many diseases, including liver disease. After the death of his mother, Muneef was forced to leave school to look for a job, where he worked and still does, in transporting the shopping stuff of his clients from the market to their homes on his back, and at other times on the back of his donkey, which he inherited from his father, in order to provide part of the sustenance for his mother and brothers.
This family owned a small agricultural land, which provided them with barely enough income to resist hunger. However, they were forced to sell it in order to be able to provide costs of medication for the only breadwinner they had lost, and paid high amounts for his treatment before he passed away.
Mother Zahra (40 years old) told "Khuyut" that: "We used to welcome the holy month of Ramadan with great eagerness, and with most of our basic needs provided before my husband, our only breadwinner, passed away.” His presence in the house - according to her speech - was a source of safety for her and her children in light of the solidarity and social support that prevailed in society, but now - She believes - everyone needs help".
This woman suffered from various diseases and health problems, which negatively affected the education of her children, and hindered them from joining their classes, as they were needed to perform many household tasks, such as fetching drinking water from distant water sources, in addition to devoting the eldest son to work for daily wages.
This family, like other Yemeni families, finds it very challenging to provide domestic cooking gas, due to its high prices as the bottle cost exceeds 7 thousand riyals which the poor family couldn’t afford. As a result, the mother, who suffers from "asthma", has resorted to use firewood for cooking instead of gas, which greatly affects her deteriorating health due to firewood smoke.
Yemen is experiencing severe economic and living crises, and a significant rise in the prices of commodities, foodstuffs, and consumables that exceed the abilities of a large proportion of people, with the expansion of the accumulated debts of many families, especially to landlords and food shops.
Mahmoud Ali, the owner of a food store, confirmed to "Khuyut" that credit records are full and accumulated debts on citizens because of the living conditions, and the interruption of the salaries of civil servants, as is the case in local and rural areas.
He added that this affected them as merchants and stores selling food in light of the current scarcity of cash and the decline in the purchasing power of the population, which was reflected in the process of preparing for the month of Ramadan. According to him, before the war, merchants used to provide various commodities, basic food needs and consumable materials, spices, and ingredients for various food and sweets, pointing out that their capital as merchants has been currently dissipated in debt records, whereas if the goods are available, the purchasing power is at its lowest level.
It is worth noting that the Yemenis are paying the cost of this cruel war, which robbed them of their lives, stability, means of subsistence, salaries, and jobs, and those who were spared with their lives, they were robbed of even joy and a sense of safety, even Ramadan lost its flavor and spirituality.