Saudi extends 2018 deposit at Yemen central bank, pays final installment

Saudi Arabia on Monday extended a deposit it gave the central bank of Yemen’s internationally recognised government in 2018, and agreed to pay the final installment of the promised $2 billion, the central bank and Saudi ambassador to Yemen said.

The Saudi finance ministry said the 2018 deposit duration would be extended and this would support Yemen’s currency and economic situation.

The central bank, now based in Aden which is the interim headquarters of Yemen’s government, said the final installment which would be paid amounted to $174 million.

In Yemen’s seven-year conflict Saudi Arabia leads a military coalition which intervened against Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group in 2015 after it ousted the internationally recognised government from power in the capital Sanaa the previous year.

The central bank is now split in two between Houthi-controlled Sanaa and the internationally recognised portion in Aden.

Saudi Arabia last month said it would arrange a new support package of $3 billion for Yemen’s economy: $2 billion from Riyadh and another $1 billion from the United Arab Emirates, also part of the coalition.

Riyadh’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed al-Jaber said on Twitter governance and technical discussions were taking place about a new $2 billion deposit that would come from the UAE and Saudi money.

The conflict has caused a serious devaluation of Yemen’s currency and a shortage of foreign reserves, and has created what that United Nations calls the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

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