Yemen expects $3bn cash injection from Gulf donors

Yemen's central bank sees aid arriving from Kuwait and the UAE as the war-battered country seeks to prop up its sagging economy
Yemen expects $3bn cash injection from Gulf donors
Yemen's warring parties on Thursday agreed to a ceasefire on the Red Sea port of Hodeida. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)
By AFP
Fri 14 Dec 2018 01:35 AM

Yemen's central bank expects a $3 billion cash injection from Gulf allies Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, an official said Thursday, as the war-battered country seeks to prop up its sagging economy.

The deposits, if confirmed, would follow a $2.2 billion infusion by Saudi Arabia to stem a slide in the Yemeni riyal as the country reels from an economic downturn.

"The central bank governor Mohamed Zemam has spoken of additional deposits worth $3 billion after talks with sisterly donor countries," deputy central bank chief Shokeib Hobeishy told reporters in the port city of Aden.

"I believe two (billion) will come from the UAE... and another billion from Kuwait."

There was no immediate comment from the Gulf nations.

Yemeni Prime Minister Moeen Abdulmalik Saeed separately told reporters on Wednesday that he did not want to give out details about the expected injection until it is confirmed.

"There are ongoing discussions about the efficiency of the central bank to handle these deposits," he said.

The central bank, whose headquarters were shifted to Aden in 2016 from the rebel-held capital Sanaa, has struggled to pay government salaries and revive the war-battered economy.

Saudi Arabia, which leads a coalition supporting the beleaguered government in its fight against Shiite Huthi rebels, deposited $200 million in Yemen's central bank in October.

The oil-rich kingdom also deposited $2 billion in the central bank in January to boost the currency.

The riyal has lost more than two-thirds of its value against the dollar since 2015, when Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the government's fight against Yemen's Huthi rebels.

It has made a partial recovery in recent weeks, but the weakened currency has left many unable to afford food staples in a nation where 14 million people are at risk of famine.

Yemen's warring parties on Thursday agreed to a ceasefire on the Red Sea port of Hodeida, a key gateway for aid and food imports, in UN-brokered peace talks in Sweden.

Since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in the conflict in 2015, around 10,000 civilians have been killed, according to the World Health Organization.

Other rights groups estimate the toll could be five times higher.

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