April 16, 2011
Yemen's foreign reserves fell to 5. 1 billion U.S. dollars by the mid of current April, a decrease of 800 million U.S. dollars, or 13.6 percent, from 5.9 billion U.S. dollars in December 2010, the official Saba news agency reported on Friday.
The decline of international reserves came as the country's economy suffered from weeks-long protests demanding an immediate end to the 33-year rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The political crisis resulted in the deterioration of economy, security and stability after the government pulled the police out from some towns of major provinces.
The governor of the Central Bank of Yemen Mohammed Awadh bin Hammam told Saba that the bank used the amount of 800 million U.S. dollars to stabilize the foreign currency.
The Yemeni currency has hit the lowest record of exchange rate against the U.S. dollar since the start of anti-government protests in mid February. It traded at 240 Yemeni rial per U.S. dollar on Friday, according to exchange traders who warned that the depletion of Yemen's reserves may weaken the rial further.
Inspired by Tunisian and Egyptian protests, anti-government protests rattled Yemen since mid February, which recently turned to violence and confrontation with police in some provinces, leaving dozens of people killed and many others injured.