Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 5 August 2020

Yemen’s central bank launches initiative to protect currency

An electronic network will connect local businesses with money exchange institutions to limit manipulation

The central bank in Aden. 
The central bank in Aden. 

Yemen’s central bank announced on Monday a new initiative to revive the war-torn country’ economy by combating currency speculation and money laundering.

The Yemeni rial has lost more than half its value against the US dollar since the start of the civil war in 2015 between the government of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi and the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. The central bank, whose headquarters was moved to Aden from the rebel-held capital Sanaa in 2016, has struggled to pay government salaries and boost the economy.

“An electronic network will be launched that aims to connect businesses with money exchange institutions to limit currency speculation and the manipulation of exchange rates,” Mansour Rajih, the undersecretary of the central bank’s monitoring department, said.

Governments in several countries have blamed currency speculators for influencing the exchange rate without economic justification.

Mr Rajih said the central bank's initiative was expected to be launched next year and would help to shore up the value of the Yemeni rial and maintain its stability.

“The bank discussed with representatives from money exchange companies anti-money laundering directives that they must adhere to,” Mr Rajih said.

An intensive course will be offered to representatives of currency exchange businesses after the Eid Al Adha holiday, the official said.

Last month, Prime Minister Maeen Saeed Abdulmalik said the government would step up efforts to tackle the issue and ensure an increase in the value of the national currency.

“The government will tackle these issues by adhering to international standards through providing transparency via a set of measures including resuming the national committee to combat money laundering,” the prime minister said.

The United Nations said last week that the war has set back the country's economic development by 20 years.

“People are hungry, people are suffering, their institutions, their schools, their local administration have collapsed, and for many of them life as they knew it simply has ceased to exist,” said Achim Steiner, UN Development Programme administrator.

Even before the war started, Yemen struggled with widespread poverty, food insecurity and a health crisis, the UN said.

Updated: August 5, 2019 02:55 PM



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