Following the collapse of the currency. Yemenis stand helpless in the face of price rises

Following the collapse of the currency. Yemenis stand helpless in the face of price rises

Due to the deteriorating humanitarian and economic situation since the outbreak of the war in the country in early 2015, Yemenis are experiencing serious difficulties.

However, the situation fell to the worst, following the collapse of the local currency to record levels, and the dollar reached 640 riyals from the 215 pre-war level, while the real price of the riyal is barely coming out of the context of the Talks between Yemenis.

Every time she asks the citizen Amal Al-Salawi for the prices, she waits for the answer with tension and anxiety, the prices have risen to record levels, some of which have increased to 300 percent since the start of the war.

* * Expensive madness

Al-Salawi, working as a school teacher in the capital Sana'a, says that life has become unbearable, the prices have risen madly, "even the loaf of bread has dwindled to a quarter, while the price of the chicken egg reached 70 riyals (about 0.1 dollars)."

In a complaining dialect that adds "al-Salawi" to Anadolu, "I swear we do not know how to live, salaries are stalled two years ago and our currency collapses, the flour for 14,000 riyals (21.8 dollars) and the kilo of bad rice for 600 riyals (0.93 dollars), the government is lost and the Houthis left us with nothing».

Prices rose to at least double in some commodities, and the price of the chicken reached 2000 riyals (3.12 dollars), after two weeks before it was 1200 riyals (1.87 dollars), while the price of kilo milk rose from 3400 riyals (5.3 dollars) to 4400 (6.87 dollars), according to Anadolu correspondent.

Before the war, the price of the chicken was 800 riyals, while the price per liter of fuel reached 150 riyals, while the price of one Kilo of milk was 1600 riyals.

The meat was absent from the tables of most Yemenis, after the kilo of mutton reached 5 thousand riyals (7.81 dollars), while the kilo of meat from cows reached 4500 riyals ($7).

* * Riyal collapse

Traders attributed the rise to the collapse of the local currency; Ahmed al-Shamiri, a retail retailer, said that the sale and purchase process had become a loss, as prices changed every day to the top.

Yemenis are pouring their anger on merchants, but Shamiri says, "People believe that we are behind the lifting of basic materials, that we are greedy and profiting from their suffering, but the truth is that the riyal is still collapsing every day, and we have no tricks."

Life began to be paralyzed in the capital markets of Sana'a, especially in the luxury markets.

The perfumes shop owner standing in front of his shop for hours before he had to break the boredom, he spent a round polishing the perfume bottles, then returned to his seat in front of the store, with a laugh topped with a gray mustache, cynical from the situation saying «where the market... Where are the People».

He explains the situation, saying to a reporter for Anadolu, "I did not stop selling to the customers, but I ignore some of the intensity of the crowds, today I want one  to enter my shop to talk with him, the prices and the height made people reluctant to roam the markets."

* * Protests

In government-controlled cities and provinces, protests against the collapse of the local currency and rising prices have erupted into a state of civil disobedience since last Sunday.

Most of the shops and exchange shops were closed, while in Al Mukalla, the center of Hadramawt Province (east of the country) was turned into clashes with security forces, resulting in three injuries, one of whom was severely injured.

The protesters have since last Sunday raised slogans calling on the Yemeni government and the central bank to intervene to stop the collapse of the currency.

* * The cause of the crisis

The crisis of local currency collapse is due to increased demand for foreign exchange, the failure of the Yemeni government and the central bank to deal with the economic crisis, according to the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Aden, Abu Bakr Baobid.

"The government and the bank have not been serious about dealing with the current crisis, and the bank has made promises to merchants to support the importation of goods, but it has failed to do so, which has prompted traders to use the parallel market," Baobid told Anadolu.

* * Solutions

At dawn on Wednesday, the government approved a number of measures to preserve the value of the local currency, including normalizing conditions, securing areas under its control, solving the problem of airports and seaports, and rehabilitating Yemeni civil aviation.

The Government will also emphasize the collection of state resources and their supply to the Government's general account in the central bank.

The prohibition to enter or import any of the commodities and petroleum derivatives was approved only through a bank certificate of the merchant, with the aim of preventing foreign exchange.

The decision also requires that any amount in any currency exceeding USD 10,000 per person be prevented from being released, except with the permission of the central bank.

"The coming days will see stability in the national economy in cooperation with the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia," said Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid bin Dagher, according to the state news agency Saba.

He said the government will work to reduce currency speculation, "and take all measures and actions to support the stability of the local currency and its recovery in the foreign currency basket and to correct the prices of basic food commodities."

For nearly four years, Yemen has been witnessing a war between the government army forces, backed by the Arab coalition, on the one hand, and militants of the al-Houthi group, on the other.

The US dollar in early 2015 was 215 Yemeni riyals, but the continuation of the war caused a steady decline until the day reached 630 Yemeni riyals.


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