Government in impoverished Yemen approves sharp hike in fuel prices
Yemen’s government has approved the tripling of gasoline prices in Marib province, in what will likely place a heavy burden on an already impoverished population.
The government’s Supreme Economic Council approved an increase that raised the price of a litre of the fuel from 150 Yemeni riyals (US$0.60) to 487 riyals (approximately US$2) in the central province, Arabi 21 reported on Wednesday.
Cooking gas prices were also raised from 2,100 riyals (US$8.39) to 2,400 riyals (US$9.59) per cylinder, the pan-Arab news website said.
Yemen's internationally recognised government controls only parts of central and southern Yemen. #
It has lost control of the capital Sanaa and most of northern Yemen to the Houthi rebels, with whom government forces have fought since 2014.
In southern Yemen, its authority is challenged by the separatist, UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council.
Production of oil, whose sale is vital to Yemen's economy, has shrunk to just a fraction of pre-war levels.
The Houthis have repeatedly targeted ports in government-controlled areas to prevent oil exports.
Much of the Yemeni population lives in extreme poverty, and more than 80% of the population is reliant on aid.
A Saudi-led coalition has backed government forces in their war with the Houthi rebels since 2015.
The coalition and the Houthis agreed to and twice renewed a short-term truce last year, but efforts to renew the truce once more have stalled.