Yemen’s riyal fell to its lowest level against all other international currencies on Sunday, as the war-torn country’s years-long military conflict deepens.
Yemen’s riyal sharply declined in the provinces controlled by the government despite the measures taken by the country’s central bank to curb the devaluation, Xinhua news agency quoted banking sources as saying.
They said that the Yemeni riyal was recently traded at 1,703 for one US dollar in the southern port city of Aden and other neighbouring areas, marking the lowest exchange rate since the beginning of the civil war in 2015.
The recent unprecedented devaluation of Yemen’s currency forced all banks and exchange stores to suspend their operations and begin an open general strike in Aden.
According to a brief statement, the Yemeni banks considered that “the suspension is not a solution, but rather a protest, to lead the country’s government to move according to an economic system, including operating ports and exporting of oil and gas”.
Ahmed Bafaqih, the spokesman for the Central Bank of Yemen, told Xinhua that “there are many reasons that led to the decline in the exchange rate, the most important of which are the political and economic conditions that the country is going through”.
He said that the speculation of some money changers and traders and the scarcity of cash also contributed to the current devaluation.
In 2017, the Yemeni government floated the national currency, a move that economic observers and analysts said was not well-studied a year after the relocation of the central bank to Aden.
The Yemeni economy is continuing to suffer after all exports were halted following a blockade on the country, which was part of a Saudi-led military intervention in March 2015.