Abstract

The Yemeni government traditionally offered few social insurance or welfare benefits, leaving the majority of the population to rely on informal safety nets within the family or within the tribal, religious, or other community. The pension system covers only civil servants, the military, security forces, and workers in the tiny formal private sector. Other social assistance is either indirect, through subsidization of food and petroleum products, or through cash transfers, or through transfers with work requirements such as the Social Fund for Development and the public works program. A formal cash transfer program, the Social Welfare Fund, was instituted in 1997. Other budgetary cash transfers include medical grants, benefits for veterans and their families, payments for tribal affairs, and discretionary compensations for emergencies.

From Unification to Economic Reform
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