Increasing al-Qaeda fighting, a surge in violence in the secessionist south and crushing poverty will be this year's critical tests for Yemen.
Currently, Yemen is trying to cement a truce to end a northern civil war, which has been a major Western security concern since a Yemen-based regional arm of al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for a December attempt to bomb a US-bound plane.
Worries over instability in Yemen along with widespread corruption mean there is no significant foreign investment outside the country's oil industry and little chance of attracting any going forward.
Al-Qaeda and the Yemeni government have clashed for many years, but bloody confrontations between al-Qaeda-linked fighters and security forces are on the rise as the group stages increasingly bold attacks on international and domestic targets alike.
Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford reports on how children are dealing with their country's growing instability.
July 1, 2010