8 March 2012
Yemen's new government faces serious security challenges, including from the terrorist group al-Qaeda, which made strategic territorial gains during the country's recent protracted political crisis, a United Nations official said Wednesday, DPA reported.
In addition, Yemen must deal with economic and political problems during its transition to democracy, as well as general elections scheduled in two years, Jamal Benomar, the UN special envoy for Yemen, told the Security Council in New York.
"During the long months of crisis, the state had lost control of its programmes, which benefited al-Qaeda," Benomar said. He said al-Qaeda had seized control of strategic cities in the south of the country.
He said Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a huge budget deficit and the world's highest rate of chronic malnutrition rate for children, second only to Afghanistan.
He appealed for continued support from the international community, which has only partially met the UN appeal for 446 million dollars for Yemen in 2012. Benomar said an estimated 500,000 children may die or suffer from chronic malnutrition this year.