DUBAI: Yemen will receive a second $250 million instalment from a Saudi one-year $1 billion grant on Sunday or Monday to support salary payments, its central bank governor told Reuters.

Ahmed bin Ahmed Ghaleb Al-Maabqi said the remaining $500 million of the grant, from which the first $250 million was paid out last August, has yet to be transferred to the bank, based in the southern port of Aden.

The bank supports the Saudi-backed government as it struggles with a weak currency and high fuel and commodity prices.

Saudi Arabia to grant Yemen $1.2bn in economic aid

Riyadh leads a military coalition in Yemen that has been fighting the Iran-aligned Houthis since 2015 after the movement ousted the Saudi-backed government from the capital Sanaa in the north, forcing it to relocate to Aden.

Riyadh’s ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed al-Jaber, said in a post on social media platform X that the second $250 million instalment was transferred to help with paying salaries and “operating expenditures and food security,” in Yemen.

Al-Maabqi said the money would only cover salaries for a few months to help people buy essentials such as food.

He said attacks by the Iran-aligned Houthis on commercial vessels in the Red Sea since November had worsened an economic crisis in war-shattered Yemen.

“The situation is already hard as a result of the war going on for more than eight years. With Houthi attacks on oil facilities (in Yemen) and exports halting, the Red Sea attacks have exacerbated the situation.

“The situation is getting more difficult,” he added on the sidelines of the 2024 World Governments Summit in Dubai.

The Houthis, who control Yemen’s capital and most populous areas, have targeted international shipping in the Red Sea in what they say is solidarity with Palestinians against Israel, drawing US and British retaliatory strikes since last month.

Houthis say they will persist with their strikes until a ceasefire is agreed between Israel and Gaza’s ruling Hamas, and food and medicine are allowed into the enclave without restrictions to ease a humanitarian emergency.

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