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Yemen gov’t: We need support to prevent collapse, famine

April 6, 2022 at 10:03 am

Girls affected by war wait to receive free meals provided by a charitable kitchen in the Mseek area on April 03, 2022 in Sana’a, Yemen [Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images]

The Yemeni government yesterday announced its need for economic support on three levels to prevent the collapse of state institutions and the country from slipping into famine.

The official Yemeni news agency quoted Prime Minister Maeen Abdul-Malik as saying that “there are three levels of economic support that can prevent the collapse … and slipping into famine.”

He added that these levels are “receiving support in the field of currency stability, achieving food security, and the state’s provision of basic services, especially water, electricity, health, education, and payment of salaries.”

For months, Yemen has been suffering from a severe economic crisis, with its currency declining and currently standing at 1,000 riyals to the dollar compared to 215 riyals before the outbreak of the war in 2015.

Abdul-Malik pointed out that there is coordination with “the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and donor country brothers and friends and organisations to provide emergency economic support to the government to help it fulfil its obligations.”

“The rise in the prices of foodstuffs and fuel against the decline in the local currency has crushed the purchasing power of citizens.”

READ: Yemen has become ‘chronic emergency’

Impoverished Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

The war, in which the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) back the Saudi-led coalition, has claimed the lives of more than 377,000 Yemenis and left 80 per cent of the population – about 30 million people – dependent on aid to survive, according to UN data.

Yemeni children affected by the Saudi-coalition war - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Yemeni children affected by the Saudi-coalition war – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]