Arab Monetary Fund signs $1billion agreement to support Yemeni economic reforms

Workers wait to ferry foodstuff outside an aid distribution center in Sanaa, Yemen.

The Arab Monetary Fund has signed a $1 billion agreement to support Yemen’s economic reform programme to its Saudi-backed government, Saudi state media said on Sunday.

The new package by the Abu Dhabi-based fund, which includes countries from the Middle East and North Africa, will provide support for the Yemeni government’s efforts to stabilise the economy from 2022 to 2025, Saudi Ekhbaria TV reported.

The war between the Iran-aligned Houthi group and a Saudi-led coalition has brought Yemen’s economy to its knees and caused the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Inflation and foreign currency shortages have made food, water and fuel unaffordable for many in Yemen, which imports most of its needs.

While the Yemeni riyal has been kept relatively steady at around 560 to the dollar in the Houthi-controlled areas, it has reached all-time lows in provinces controlled by the Saudi-backed government. These include Aden, where on Sunday one dollar was being exchanged for more than 1,000 rials.

After the Houthis stormed the capital Sanaa in 2014 and ousted the government, sending it into exile, Yemen’s central bank split into two branches – one in Sanaa, under Houthi control, and one internationally recognised branch in Aden, which has access to money printers.

Aden’s branch is under the control of the Saudi-backed administration.

Saudi Arabia said in April it would arrange $3 billion of support to the war-torn country’s economy after a new presidential council was formed. It was not clear if the whole sum has been disbursed.

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