Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Black Market Cuts off 54 Percent of Humanitarian Aid Financial Value

Black Market Cuts off 54 Percent of Humanitarian Aid Financial Value

Sunday, 29 October, 2017 - 10:30
Yemeni walks by loading trucks near Port Hodeidah, west Yemen. Reuters

Yemeni Ministry of Finance revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the international financial aid coming through humanitarian organizations to Yemen arrives in the American dollar but the amounts are not deposited in banking accounts until being exchanged in the black market, making them lose 54 percent of their value.

Yemen's Deputy Minister of Finance Dr. Mansour al-Butani said during a phone call that no accounts were opened for any international organization in the central bank, therefore this process is not managed by the Ministry of Finance.

“I hope that donors pass their aid via the central bank, under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance so that the amounts can be registered in the state’s public account and handled correctly," he declared.

In the same context, a financial source revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that all exchange institutions in Houthis-ruled regions reject until today to implement the decision of currency floating because they want to exploit the difference between the official value and the value imposed by the black market.

The source, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that the difference between official value and the black market one exceeds 135 riyals in cash and more than 245 riyals in cheques.

International organizations offices witnessed the disappearance of USD702 million in Yemen during nine months of this year out of USD1.3 billion allocated for the Yemeni people.

President of the Studies Economic Media Center (SEMC) Mustafa Nasr explained that there is no definite destination of the amounts earned from the exchange rate difference, which exceeds 135 riyal for every dollar.

This means that the total difference reaches USD702 million.

In a related matter, an official of financial affairs in Houthis-ruled regions noted that the possibility of opening accounts in the central bank for the aid was suggested but the idea wasn’t welcomed by several organizations.

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