Yemen, World Bank Discuss Investing ‘Special Drawing Rights’

Publish September 5, 2021

Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik chaired a meeting with the World Bank on Thursday, official sources revealed. He discussed investing Yemen’s share of the Special Drawing Rights from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reserves to stabilize its economy and services.

It is noteworthy that the share Abdulmalik discussed is worth around $665 million.

World Bank Executive Director and Dean of the Board of Executive Directors Merza Hasan, Yemeni Finance Minister Salem Bin Braik, and Yemeni Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Waed Badeeb partook in the meeting, which was held via videoconference.

More so, a World Bank team of technical experts also attended the meeting.

According to sources, the meeting examined World Bank proposals for Yemen using its Special Drawing Rights and mechanisms for enhancing its effective utilization.

More so, the meeting discussed optimal options that the government and the World Bank can take to improve economic and living conditions in Yemen and alleviate the suffering of citizens throughout the country without exception.

“Abdulmalik confirmed that his government will carefully study all proposed options for Yemen using its Special Drawing Rights,” sources said, adding that the prime minister is keen on ensuring that the move is beneficial for the country and does not deplete his country’s share.

The Yemeni government hopes to benefit from World Bank experiences in supporting reforms and strengthening the capabilities of the Central Bank of Yemen.

This could alleviate the severity of the economic crisis characterized by inflation of prices and the depreciation of the national currency. The Yemeni financial problem has been exacerbated by monetary policies adopted by Iran-backed Houthi militias.

About ten days ago, the IMF deposited $ 665 million at the Central Bank of Yemen to help ease an acute economic and humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.

The fund’s regional representative for Yemen Gazi Shbaikat told Asharq Al-Awsat that the allocation would boost Yemen’s foreign exchange reserves by over 70%, providing much-needed support to help address the crisis, including with the many urgent foods and medical needs of the population.

The allocation comes after IMF Governors approved early this month a general assignment of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) - the fund’s unit of exchange backed by dollars, euros, yen, sterling and yuan – to a number of its countries.

Shbaikat said the SDRs allocating is considered a tool to support the foreign exchange reserves of the IMF’s 190 member countries in proportion to their existing quotas in the IMF.


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