Economic damage from civil war costs Yemen $14bn - report

A journalist takes photos of a school destroyed by a Saudi-led air strike in the southwestern city of Taiz © Anees Mahyoub
The civil war in Yemen has cost the country $14 billion so far, Reuters wrote, quoting confidential joint report by the World Bank, United Nations, Islamic Development Bank and European Union.

“The conflict has so far resulted in damage costs (still partial and incomplete) of almost $7 billion and economic losses (in nominal terms) of over $7.3 billion in relation to production and service delivery," said the report dated May 6.

The civil war in Yemen intensified in 2015, as the Saudi-led coalition launched its air campaign at request of Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s government, which was engaged in a clash against the Shiite Houthi movement. Yemen’s recognized government is also fighting Al-Qaeda militants.

“These preliminary findings are not only partial, but also evolving,” as the conflict goes on, the report said. The assessment was made between late last year and early 2016.

The public health service has suffered losses of $3.6 billion. The report was able to collect damage data only in the cities of Sanaa, Aden, Taiz and Zinjibar. The investigation was cut off last October, about seven months after the conflict began.

It will also cost Yemen $139 million to reconstruct damaged energy facilities in the four cities, mostly for the restoration of destroyed power plants, the report said.

READ MORE: 'Unprecedented': European govts sold $1.3bn in arms to Middle East, some ended up with ISIS - report

As Shiite rebels control the central bank in the capital, Sanaa, which provides foreign exchange for imports, it’s tough to restore import financing for food and fuel. The bank has rejected allegations that it’s misusing state funds.

“As long as the conflict is ongoing, it's key to keep going the basic imports needed to avoid a humanitarian crisis. That is a very critical issue right now. The best the international community and donors can do is to find a way to get the government and the central bank to cooperate to get at least the humanitarian side of things going,” the IMF's Yemen Mission Chief Albert Jaeger told Reuters.

The 16-month conflict in Yemen has seen more than 6,500 people killed, and displaced more than 2.5 million. The pre-conflict GDP per capita was $1,097.