The first meeting of the PLC in the capital city Aden, April 20, 2022 (Saba Agency)

South Yemen: The Service Reality During the PLC Era


Tue, 03-01-2023 03:07 PM, Aden

Raad Alrimi (South24) 

Despite being one of the main reasons which toppled two former governments, poor services and living conditions in South Yemen remain out of the priorities of the Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) and the Parity Government, especially in the capital city Aden.

Apart from some declared projects and agreements, Aden has not experienced any real or remarkable improvement in different services, foremost of which are electricity and health. No solutions or treatments have been designed for the civil sector's meager salaries and the non-payment of the military employees' salaries. 

During repeated meetings - in both virtual and real forms - the PLC stressed that services and living conditions in Aden and other governorates come on top of their priorities. However, not many things were achieved in this regard amid the domination of the political, military and administrative files on PLC's agenda.

In this report, “South24 Center" monitors the service conditions in Aden - the country's official capital - since the establishment of PLC in last April. It listened to the voices of officials in various service sectors.


Official sources in the Aden’s electricity sector told “South24 Center" that "no tangible positive changes have occurred in the electricity file under PLC’s era. So far, the generative capacity of all active power plants in the governorate doesn’t exceed 320 megawatts while the loads go beyond the level of 650 megawatts in the summer's climax".

Even with this low generating capacity, several other problems have emerged such as diesel and mazut. This made 60% of electricity out of service in early December for days. This caused power outages for periods which reached the level of 8 days while operating for only two hours despite the low loads during the moderate atmosphere. 

The energy purchased from the special power plants constitutes a large percentage of the whole generated energy in Aden that amounts to 135 megawatts. Meanwhile, over 4 governmental power plants have been out of service since 2015 without maintenance. According to maintenance workers within the electricity sector, costs of maintenance are less than what the private companies receive from the government for a few months only. 

The new power plant in Aden (President Hadi Plant) is considered the biggest available solution for PLC to reduce the electricity crisis in Aden. However, it has been so far out of service except for the first turbine which generates 90 megawatts out of 264 megawatts that can be generated by the plant if it is fully operated.

According to exclusive sources, what hinders operating the second turbine of the power plant is the inability of the internal electricity network to sustain more pressure amid the absence of any maintenance or expansion works by the Yemeni government. The second turbine will provide at least 140 megawatts according to the sources.

In a similar situation to Aden, the other Southern governorates face the same problems and even worse related to electricity. Al-Dhalea governorate has faced power outages of up to 16 hours a day in the city of Al-Dhalea and over 18 hours a day in the rural areas. Moreover, Lahj and Abyan have suffered from power cuts of more than 12 hours a day in addition to Shabwa governorate.

The situation is not much different in Hadramout which is the biggest governorate in South Yemen. The generating capacity of electricity in the coastal cities is 140 megawatts while the actual needs are 260 megawatts during the throng hours. In Al-Mahra, there are sporadic daily power cuts due to the fuel depletion and the shortages of generating capacity.

The decision to appoint Engineer Manea Bin Yamin as the new Electricity Minister on July 28th is one of the few measures taken by PLC in this direction in addition to the announcement on December 21st about reaching an agreement with an Emirati company to provide Aden with a solar power plant with a capacity of 120 megawatts.

According to "Saba Agency", [1] the plant will enter service in June 2023 as part of the biggest clean energy project in the country. However, this declaration grapples with similar announcements and news that have been circulated for years regarding improving Aden electricity without a tangible effect on the ground.

The health sector

The health sector has not seen much changes during PLC's era, especially in Aden apart from Aden Public Hospital which returned to work by a Saudi support following months of restoration and preparation activities before signing a contract in August to operate with a total cost of 90 million dollars. [2]

Dr. Abdulraqib Mahrez, Director General of Medical Services at the Health Ministry spoke to "South24 Center" about the health reality under PLC's leadership.

He said: "The current health reality is similar to the pre-PLC era. The anticipated improvement has not occurred and the circle of health services has not witnessed any expansion. This is apart from some aspects which were added through the ministry's efforts and the donors' support such as Aden Public Hospital and the oxygen factories in the governorates".

He added: "We hoped that things could go well especially after the establishment of PLC and the government's return to Aden as well as working to reduce the patients' traveling abroad for treatment such as cancer patients through providing the atomic scanning device which has not been so far available ".

He indicated that "hospitals suffer from the weakness of operating budgets that cover the hospitals' basic needs in comparison with the price hikes and the currency collapse. Moreover, there has been a large shortage in human job cadres in general, whether specialists or technicians or administrators or at the service sector due to not approving any job degrees since 2011".

In previous reports, “South24 Center” revealed the deteriorating health conditions in a number of South Yemen’s governorates which have not been so far improved according to exclusive sources. 

The absence of governmental budget and job cadres threatens to close the only active governmental hospital in the city of Al-Dhalea which operates via a support from World Health Organization according to the hospital manager who was previously interviewed by “South24 Center”. Patients in Hadramout face many problems, prominent of which are the monopoly of the expensive private sector and the weak infrastructure and manpower.

Moreover, the health sector in Shabwa governorate in South Yemen faces a shortage in equipment, competence and medical preparations. This pushes many people in the governorate to travel to the nearby governorate or to abroad to receive treatment. The situation in Al-Mahra is not much different as monitored in a field report by “South24 Center” last June.

People in Abyan suffer from the lack of medical services, especially in the rural areas. According to health officials in the governorate who spoke to “South24 Center”, Abyan has not witnessed any improvement in the health sector during PLC’s era”.

Moreover, Socotra Governorate lacks medical infrastructure, emergency services, obstetrics, and gynecology and child nutrition services. In September 2021, a report issued by the World Bank talked about the number of health problems in the Southern archipelago near the Gulf of Aden.


In spite of the relative improvement in the regular payment of military salaries over recent months, the salary file is still away from drastic solutions in South Yemen amid humanitarian suffering which is aggravated by the price hikes of food and basic commodities and the collapse of the economy.

The average government salary of soldiers is less than 60 US dollars (The number increases according to the military rank). The teachers’ salaries don’t exceed 70$ in the best case. During the last two years, the non-payment of the military sector salaries was over 7 months a year before being stabilized in mid 2022 after the formation of PLC. 

On the other hand, teachers face harsh conditions due to the low purchasing power of their salaries. This has led to a wave of sporadic turmoil which continued till last September before the Syndicate of Teachers in Aden declared ending the strike amid promises of increasing salaries and improving the conditions of teachers.

During a TV interview on December 19th, PLC’s Chairman Rashad Al-Alimi warned that the Yemeni government may face a shortfall regarding paying salaries as of this month because the halt of oil production due to the Houthi attacks against oil ports in Hadramout and Shabwa. [3]

Later, during a virtual meeting with the PLC members, the council confirmed its commitment via the continuation of the economic and financial reforms and paying the employees’ salaries. 


It is worth mentioning that many other files are related to people’s living conditions which have not been so far solved by PLC. This includes the collapse of the local currency which impacted all levels. The Yemeni riyal witnessed a big improvement concurrently with the establishment of PLC and the announcement of a Saudi-Emirati grant that later turned into a deposit with a total value of 2 billion dollars in order to strengthen the Central Bank. 

This improvement-the numerical one only, lasted for 45 days without any impact on the prices of food and different commodities. 

On November 23rd, the Yemeni government announced that it received 11 billion Emirati dirhams from the Saudi-Emirati deposit to the Central Bank following months of negotiations and meetings between the leadership of the Central Bank of Yemen and officials in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. [4]

Furthermore, an agreement was signed in November to receive a billion dollar from the Saudi-Emirati grant between the Yemeni government and the Arab Monetary Fund as a technical body. [5]

Economic expert Moustafa Nasr told "South24 Center": "Despite the Central Bank’s announcement that all the requirements and requirements of the Saudi-Emirati financial deposit have been met as well as the meeting between Al-Alimi and the bank's leadership on July 13th three days after the Eid Al-Adha speech which confirmed the fulfillment of the requirements, the deposit has not so far arrived".

With the latest Houthi military escalation against the oil ports in South Yemen and the halt of oil production, the service and economic files will apparently increase and accumulate in front of PLC without reaching solutions.

Raad Alrimi 

Journalist at South24 Center for News and Studies

South YemenPLCAden electricity