Monday, May 20, 2024

Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council blames govt for economic crisis

Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council (STC) has strongly criticised the internationally-recognised government for causing the economic crisis in the war-torn nation.

In a statement issued following a meeting of its members in the southern port city of Aden, the STC accused the government of “rampant corruption, fiscal mismanagement, and driving the country to the brink of bankruptcy”, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The government has exhausted Yemen’s finances through corruption and mismanagement, further impoverishing citizens as the country grapples with the economic crisis and years-long conflict,” said the statement.

In a show of support to the STC, Ahmed Lamlas, the governor of Aden, decided to halt the transfer of the city’s revenues into the government’s account in the Aden-based central bank.

A Yemeni government official expressed concern over the call, warning that “such actions have the potential to deepen the economic crisis”.

Last month, the government said it was facing financing difficulties following a drop in public revenues caused by Houthi attacks on oil exporting ports.

During a previous cabinet meeting held in Aden, the government said the Houthi attacks have caused losses estimated at $1 billion.

Yemen has been embroiled in a devastating civil war since 2014, with the Iran-backed Houthi militia fighting against the internationally-recognised government and its allies.

As the country marked the ninth year of war in 2023, people are facing a devastating humanitarian crisis with more than two million children acutely malnourished.

Rounds of currency depreciation, an economy on the brink of collapse, and sharp increases in the cost of fuel and other key commodities, have left millions more Yemenis in danger of catastrophic hunger.

Over 17 million people are still experiencing high levels of food insecurity, 75 per cent of them are women and children.

Since 2015, prices of wheat increased by almost 300 per cent in areas under Houthi control and by almost 600 per cent in government-controlled areas

The price of cooking gas has increased by almost 600 per cent since the start of this war.

The war has so far killed more than 19,000 people and millions more have been forced to flee their homes.

More than 21.6 million people, or two-thirds of the population, need humanitarian assistance and protection.

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