Yemen central bank hits out at Saudi backers as cash deliveries prevented

Jasper Jolly
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Civil war has ravaged Yemen since early 2015 (Source: Getty)

The central bank of war-torn Yemen has publicly complained to its Saudi Arabian allies about late cash deliveries as the government struggles to hold together what remains of its civil service.

The Aden-based bank claimed in a statement on Saturday it had had cash deliveries blocked 13 times, Reuters reported.

Yemen’s civil war, which has pitted the Saudi-backed regime of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi against Houthi rebels, has become a proxy for a vicious struggle for dominance between a coalition of Sunni nations led by the Saudis and the Shia Iranian government.

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"The (bank) faces extreme difficulties ... because of the hindrance in delivering these funds by air to Aden airport by the coalition for unknown reasons," the bank said.

The failure to allow the funds permission to land “creates dangerous strangulation for the Yemeni economy”, the bank added. The central bank continued to pay for some government salaries, a vital source of wealth, after the Houthi rebels seized power in 2015.

Hadi’s government, which continues its tenuous grip on power from Riyadh, the Saudi capital, moved the central bank to Aden, a southern port city, in September. The Houthi rebels control the more northerly capital, Sana’a.

The country is currently suffering from a cholera epidemic, which British international development secretary Priti Patel said last week is driving the nation to “the brink of a catastrophic disaster.”

The United Nations estimates that 18.8m Yemenis are reliant on humanitarian support, almost two-thirds of the entire population. Meanwhile millions have lost their livelihoods as the war has made large parts of the country too dangerous to operate in.

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