Yemen government announces pay rise after mass protest

For more than a year, the government has been unable to pay salaries in the impoverished and war-torn country. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 03 September 2018
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Yemen government announces pay rise after mass protest

  • For more than a year, the government has been unable to pay salaries
  • Protest organizers have called for further civil disobedience until the government instates measures to aid millions of Yemenis

ADEN: Yemen’s embattled government has agreed to raise the salaries of thousands of public-sector employees, including pensioners, after hundreds of people protested in Aden against the rising cost of living.
For more than a year, the government has been unable to pay salaries in the impoverished and war-torn country, as the local currency plummets against the dollar.
Late Sunday a cabinet meeting in Riyadh chaired by President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who has lived in exile since 2015, approved “an increase in civil sector salaries, including retirees and contractors,” Yemen’s state-run Saba news agency reported.
It was not immediately clear when the raise would take effect.
The decision came hours after hundreds of people took to the streets of Aden, the southern province that now serves as the government’s de facto capital, burning tires and blocking main roads to demand government aid.
Protest organizers have called for further civil disobedience until the government instates measures to aid millions of Yemenis struggling to survive.
The riyal has lost more than two-thirds of its value against the dollar since 2015, when Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the government’s fight against Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
The economic downturn, along with a blockade on the rebel-held international airport and ports, has left Yemenis unable to afford food staples and bottled water.
In January, Saudi Arabia — Hadi’s main ally — announced a $2 billion bailout to help bolster the central bank. The riyal rose briefly that month but has since plummeted by a hefty 36 percent.
In 2016, more than one million civil servants lost their jobs as Hadi transferred the official central bank from Sanaa to Aden.
The rebels operate their own central bank from the capital, which they have controlled since 2014.
The Yemeni war has triggered what the UN calls the world’s largest single humanitarian crisis, with more than three-quarters of the population in need of humanitarian aid and 8.4 million at risk of famine.


OIC chief holds talks with ministers during UN General Assembly

Updated 6 min 31 sec ago
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OIC chief holds talks with ministers during UN General Assembly

  • Al-Othaimeen attended the reception ceremony hosted by Donald Trump on Monday
  • The Palestinian issue was also top of the topics that the chief of OIC discussed in his meeting

JEDDAH: Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, met the United Nations’ special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
They discussed the latest developments in the Syrian crisis, and Al-Othaimeen emphasized the need to reach a peaceful solution and address the humanitarian situation.
Al-Othaimeen also met Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relations in all fields of cooperation, especially in fighting terrorism and extremism, in addition to discussing the Palestinian issue and supporting UNRWA, the relief agency for Palestinian refugees in the Near East.
The Palestinian issue was also top of the topics that the chief of OIC discussed in his meeting with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, who said his country gave the Palestinian issue special attention, highlighting that there is a large Muslim community in Venezuela and that his country is keen to strengthen relations with the OIC.
Al-Othaimeen met the Iraqi minister of foreign affairs, Dr. Ibrahim Al-Jaafari. They discussed the latest developments in Iraq following the elections and the Basra events, and the importance of holding the Makkah II conference to achieve social reconciliation in Iraq. He also stressed OIC’s support for stability in Iraq.
Moreover, the chief of OIC met the president of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, and stressed the support of his organization for Kosovo until it wins the recognition of OIC member states as an independent state.
Al-Othaimeen attended the reception ceremony hosted by US President Donald Trump on Monday evening for the delegation heads participating in the UN General Assembly.