Saudi Arabia said on Sunday that it had disbursed $250 million in aid to the internationally recognized government in Yemen, which the Gulf kingdom has backed in a war against Houthi rebels.

The money follows an initial payment of the same amount announced in August, when Riyadh committed to providing a total of $1.2 billion to ease the government’s budget deficit and pay salaries for civil servants.

“The second batch of the grant to support addressing the budget deficit for the Yemeni government was transferred to the Central Bank of Yemen in Aden, amounting to $250 million to support salaries, wages, and expenses,” Mohammed al-Jaber, the Saudi ambassador to Yemen, said on social media.

The Yemeni government relocated to Aden, a port city on the southern coast, after the Iran-backed Houthis seized the capital Sanaa in 2014.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia mobilized an international coalition intended to oust the Houthis.

The ensuing war has killed hundreds of thousands of people, either directly in the fighting or indirectly as a result of a maritime and air blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia.

A UN-brokered ceasefire in April 2022 brought a sharp reduction in hostilities. The truce officially expired six months later, though fighting has largely remained on hold.

The Aden-based government has long struggled to finance basic services and pay salaries.

The United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, said last year that “economic warfare” between the warring parties had compounded the country’s problems.

A surprise rapprochement deal announced in March between Saudi Arabia and Iran raised hopes for a durable ceasefire in Yemen, though so far, no breakthrough has been announced.

With AFP

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