Yemenis protest rising prices following currency plunge

Forex offices countrywide close doors amid ongoing protests against rising living costs

Yemenis protest rising prices following currency plunge

Yemenis in several cities continued to stage demonstrations on Wednesday to protest rising costs of living following a recent plunge of the local currency against the U.S. dollar.

In Aden, Yemen’s interim capital, and in the southern Hadhramaut province, demonstrations were held for the fourth day in row, with protesters blocking roads with burning tires.

In Aden’s Al-Maala district, where the governor’s headquarters is located, protesters prevented government employees from reaching their places of work.

Several protests were also seen in Hadhramaut province, including in provincial capital Mukalla, where demonstrators blocked the city’s main streets, according to witnesses.

In an effort to contain mounting popular discontent, the government on Tuesday approved a 30 percent increase in salaries for civil servants.

The move, however, has failed to dampen the protests, which erupted after a sharp drop in the value of the Yemeni rial from roughly 515 rials to the dollar last month to a current 630.

At the beginning of 2015, the Yemeni rial had traded at about 215 to the greenback.

Meanwhile, currency exchange offices countrywide have closed their doors.

Impoverished Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa, forcing the internationally-recognized government to take up temporary residence in Aden.