Saudi Arabia to send Yemen $60m worth of aid every month

Rising living costs and deteriorating services are prompting protests in Aden

A general view of the southern port city of Aden, Yemen January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Fawaz Salman
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Saudi Arabia will grant Yemen $60 million worth of petroleum products each month to power electricity stations and boost the national currency.

Mohammed Al Jaber, Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to Yemen, wrote in a Tweet on Monday that the aid would "alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people who have been suffering from terror".

Rising food costs and corruption allegations have driven some Aden residents to protest against the government.

The unrest is further heightened by tensions in the south between political groups.

Yemenis are also suffering from the effects of a falling riyal. The cost of living has increased 20 per cent.

The Saudi ambassador said that the stimulus package "will greatly contribute to improving the economic situation in Yemen and boost the Yemeni Riyal’s exchange rate against foreign currencies to improve the standard of living".

Saudi Arabia, along with the UAE, has intervened in the civil war at the request of Yemen's internationally recognised government. They have also poured billions in aid into the Arab world’s poorest country.

Nada Aoubali, a 40-year-old women's rights campaigner, joined a rally in Aden, Yemen's interim capital.

She and her friends were protesting against deteriorating public services and a sharp increase in food prices.

"This government is driving the country to the brink of famine, it failed to provide the basic needs for us, and it must be removed soon," Ms Aoubali said.

Hussien Al Jadani, a 33-year-old protester, said difficult circumstances forced him to the street. Foremost among the difficulties, he said, was the price of transport, which has increased by a quarter.

"We are not able to live any more, my salary is 60,000 riyals [Dh880] and the dollar is 555 riyals how can I provide for my family?" Mr Al Jadani said.

Meanwhile, Houthi militias in the port city of Hodeidah were reported to have entered the homes of residents in the Red Sea city in search of young men to conscript in the fight against Yemeni forces.

"A Houthi commander with his guards stormed my house and ordered me to take all my family members to the street to take part in a protest they held on Monday against the coalition, " a resident said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Iran-backed Houthi rebels have held on to the northwest of Yemen as they continue to fight the Yemeni forces closing in on the rebel-held capital of Sanaa.


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