Yemen government announces budget after three-year hiatus

Jan 24, 2018, 12:01
Yemen government announces budget after three-year hiatus

"There is no alternative but to end armed conflict as soon as possible in Yemen and it is essential that those taking part in the conflict renounce their attempts to resolve existing problems by force", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow with his Yemeni counterpart Abdulmalik al-Mekhlafi.

Yemen's cash-strapped government on Sunday released its first official budget since the Huthi rebels overran the capital Sanaa in 2014 and following a bailout from ally Saudi Arabia.

The prime minister vowed "optimal use" of Saudi Arabia's $2 billion deposit to the central bank, which has buoyed the local currency in recent days, and said the new "austerity budget" would nonetheless guarantee wages for civil servants and the military. "$1.5 billion in new humanitarian aid funding for distribution across United Nations agencies and worldwide relief organisations", the coalition announced in a statement.

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The UAE has expressed support for the Saudi positions in Yemen at various levels.

Bin Dagher did not offer details on revenue sources for the budget but it comes on the heels of a massive bailout by Saudi Arabia, the main backer of the internationally recognised government.

The new aid programme seeks to open land, sea and air routes to Yemen to boost monthly imports to 1.4 million metric tons from 1.1 million previous year.

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The Cabinet chaired by King Salman said this humanitarian gesture shows the Kingdom's keenness to help the Yemeni people overcome their suffering and cope with the economic burdens inflicted by Iranian Houthi militias who have plundered the state's resources and seized its revenues.

On Saturday, Yemen's Houthi movement reportedly fired a ballistic missile toward Saudi Arabia's southern province of Najran.

He stated that in the past three years, the kingdom has provided support to Yemen and its people for more than 10.4 billion dollars.

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Another almost 2,200 Yemenis have died of cholera amid deteriorating hygiene and sanitation conditions, the World Health Organisation says.