Arab foreign ministers say important to deal with US Gaza proposal seriously, positively

URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL

AL-MUKALLA: The Yemeni riyal fell to an all-time low of 1,770 against the dollar in Yemeni government-controlled districts on Monday, a decline that is likely to push up prices and spark violence.

Local currency dealers and local media reported on Monday that the Yemeni riyal was approaching a historic record low of 1,800 against the dollar in Aden, Al-Mukalla and other districts controlled by the internationally recognized Yemeni government.

In January, the riyal hit a record low of 1,600 to the dollar in government-controlled provinces, two months after it had already fallen to a new low of 1,500 to the dollar.

At the end of 2014, when war broke out in Yemen after the Houthis took control of the capital Sanaa, the country’s currency was trading at 215 to the dollar.

In December 2021, the exchange rate hit a historic low of 1,700 against the dollar, but recovered to 1,200 after Saudi Arabia pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into the central bank in Aden.

The exchange rate of the currency in the areas controlled by the Houthi has remained constant at 527 against the dollar since the end of 2016.

Neither the Yemeni government nor the central bank in Aden have commented on the recent fall in the currency’s value, but usually blame it on currency speculation by black market traders and the Houthis, who have deprived the Yemeni government of oil revenues by attacking oil terminals in the south of the country.

In an attempt to bring the chaotic market under control, the Central Bank of Aden has previously closed unlicensed exchange offices, held public auctions to sell dollars to local food and fuel importers, ordered financial institutions to submit annual financial statements to the bank and integrated local exchange offices into a unified remittance system under its supervision.

These measures could not slow down the devaluation of the riyal.

The Yemeni riyal typically recovered when a new government was formed or when Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates made additional deposits at the central bank.

The devaluation of the currency has led to rising costs for fuel, food and transport, according to local and international aid organizations, and has pushed millions of Yemenis into poverty.

The decline of the riyal in Yemen’s government-controlled provinces is attributed to the central bank’s dwindling foreign exchange reserves, the suspension of oil exports and a decline in remittances from abroad, according to the World Food Programme’s latest bulletin on food security in Yemen, released on Saturday.

The bulletin said, referring to Yemen’s internationally recognized government based in the south of the country, that “the disruption of oil exports has resulted in a loss of nearly $2 billion in IRG revenues. The deteriorating economic situation has also increased food and fuel prices in the south.”

Civil servants say their wages have not increased in over a decade and have lost more than 200 percent of their value while prices have skyrocketed.

The devaluation of the riyal has prompted teachers in Yemen’s Hadramaut province to go on strike to demand a salary increase.

Taha Bafadhel, a teacher from Ghayel Bawazer in Hadramaut, told Arab News that he currently has to take on three jobs to feed his family and make ends meet, adding that teachers have fallen into poverty due to the devaluation of the riyal and poor salaries.

“The salary is no longer enough to cover a third of the family’s expenses. In order to cover the remaining expenses, additional work is required. Even a second job would not cover the expenses,” he said. “The reason for this is the currency collapse, which has led to a rise in prices and unchanged salaries.”

Leave a Comment