SANA'A, Feb. 10 (Saba) – Yemen's economy suffered much last year with losses due to terrorism and piracy estimated at $ 600 million, according to an economics professor at Sana'a University.
Terror operations alone cost $ 144 million and led to 140.000 layoffs of those who worked for the tourist sector, Abdullah al-Faqih said.
In a paper titled ' the impacts of terror operations on national economy' that was presented in the Sana'a-based MANARAT Center, al-Faqih said among Yemen's woes in 2009 were also the war against the Houthi militants in the far north, secessionists in the south, piracy that cost Yemen $ 450 million, custom avoidance that reached YR 5.3 billion and the increase in Yemen's external debt to about $ 7.391 billion from $ 7.112 billion in a prior year.
The main reasons for the fall of Yemeni riyal against the U.S. dollar, he went on, were increasing cash in local markets more than the GDP, increasing inflation rates to more than 30 per cent, decreasing foreign currency reserves, declining expatriate remittance and foreign aid due to the global financial slump and soaring demand of goods by 15 per cent.
The paper suggested some interventions the government should do to face the country's challenges including boosting exports, the Gross Domestic Product and halting issuing new banknotes and treasury bills that cost national economy YR 100 billion a year in interest on them.
In July last year, Yemen said its losses caused by soaring piracy off Somalia were estimated at $ 350 million, including $ 200 million suffered by fishermen and $ 150 million suffered by the government.
An official document noted that maritime piracy caused a stop to hunting fish in some areas in the pirate-plagued Gulf of Aden, brining the losses of Yemeni fishermen.
Other losses are related to insurance on ships against piracy including Yemeni vessels.
Yemen has been assuming the responsibility for securing the waterways in the region, bearing, despite its fragile economy, funds to enhance the readiness of its marine forces through establishing security centers along its coast and buying boats at more than $ 150 million, officials said.
Piracy off Somalia's coast continued to soar last, with pirates stepping up their attacks to reach 126 incidents including 29 vessels which were already hijacked with 472 crew members onboard taken as hostages.
While, 40 suspected pirates were sized, some of whom have already gone on trial.
Pirate attacks increased in 2009 reaching 111 incidents including hijackings with 815 crew members seized along with the vessels.