Houthi-Saleh Militants Rob $4.8 Billion From Yemen Central Bank, Push19 million Yemeni to Widespread Famine
A new report prepared by the Studies Center and Economic Media (SCEM), confirmed that the Houthi and Saleh militants robbed nearly $5 billion of the reserve stock of foreign currency in the Central Bank bringing 19 million Yemeni citizens to a tragic situation in need of urgent assistance.
According to the report, during the two years of the coup, the Houthi-Saleh militants had caused massive destruction at all levels. The number of citizens in need of assistance rose to19 million, more than two-thirds of Yemen’s population. The General Domestic Production GDP dropped from $28 billion to 16 billion dollars.
The report confirmed that, the foreign currency reserves in Yemen Central Bank before the coup reached $5.5 billion, and was depleted $3 billion in 2015 just one year during the Houthi coup. The process continued attrition in 2016 to reach the remaining $700 million in September 2016. The coup militia has looted more than two billion dollars since February 2015 until May 2017, the allocations of the Ministry of Defense. The data indicated that, the economic indicators had begun to improve gradually during 2013 and the first half of 2014, particularly after the conclusion of the National Dialogue Conference by consensus of all national components, which coincided with regional and international support for the transitional period. The donors provided close to $7.8, in addition to the Saudi Arabia deposited a record $ 2 billion in the Yemen Central Bank; this led to arise in foreign exchange reserves to $5.5 billion by the end of 2014. The Yemeni economy is out of intensive care in” 2014, but it is still on the bed of illness,” said World Bank Director, Wael Zakout.
The report pointed out that, these positive developments have been reflected in the Yemeni economy, on the development process and the investment climate. The private sector has witnessed a relative improvement in its investment and commercial activity. The number of projects registered in the General Authority for Investment increased from 95 projects at a cost of
$284 million in 2012 to 104 projects at a cost of (704 million dollars), and then dropped those projects as the investors left the capital after the Houthi’s storming Sana’a.
The total public revenues of the state deteriorated significantly in 2017. The revenues were expected to mount (9.2 billion dollars), while the actual (revenues amounted to only (3 billion dollars). Yemen lost in 2015 ($4.45 billion) and lost in (2016 ($5.48 billion).
The report noted that, the Houthi group had exhausted most of the important resources in the country, hindered some of them, and then resorted to a number of alternative options, borrowing from banks and insurance funds; thus raising the benefits of domestic debt to a very difficult number that will be difficult to overcome in the future. Until the end of 2016, the total internal debt is about $20 billion, of which $3 billion is interest. The report states that Yemen needs costly reconstruction. The government has estimated the cost of reconstruction at $100 billion, equivalent to Yemen’s 10-year budget.
The report warned that Yemen has a degree of economic exposure to the outside of 68 per cent, and is expected to raise the level of inflation to 55 per cent during the current year 2017.
The militia had taken over the support of the Yemeni government for oil derivatives and electricity generation which estimated at $2.6 billion during 2015 and 2016. The militias decided to float the import of oil derivatives to allow themselves to control the black market for profit. Documents by the journalist Mohammad Al-Absi – who died after their publishing revealed the involvement of Houthi leaders in trading oil derivatives, and the establishment of oil companies for these leaders. According to the documents, the first and the largest company belongs to Mohammed Abdul Salam, spokesman of the Houthis group, it is called Yemen Life and run by his brother while the second belongs to the well-known Houthi arms dealer Daghsan Mohammad Daghsan called “Oil Braimer.” The third is called “Black Gold” and belongs to Ali Girsha, pointing out that one of these companies was established outside of Yemen by the Houthis as a showing model, buying the oil in its name with a photo contract.
As the report showed, the result of these absurd measures led to the loss of 8 million people in their income sources, including 7 million people working in the private sector, the informal sector and daily wages, and 4 million workers who were paid from the public sector, private and mixed without work and 3 million other people who worked in the daily pay system. There is also 1.200 million employees in the government sector have been on the verge of starvation, live without salaries for six months, due to the systematic robbing of the state’s stocks and public resources by the Houthi-Saleh coup coalition.