Yemen government announces pay rise amid protests

Yemen's embattled government has agreed to raise the salaries of thousands of public-sector employees, including pensioners, amid protests which have left one person dead.

One protestor was killed Sunday after being shot by police in the Al-Daleh district in the south, where mass rallies have pushed the government to announce a string of raises, according to a hospital source and eyewitnesses.

For more than a year, the Yemeni government has been unable to pay salaries in the impoverished and war-torn country, as the local currency plummets against the dollar.

Late Sunday a cabinet meeting in Riyadh chaired by President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who has lived in exile since 2015, approved "an increase in civil sector salaries, including retirees and contractors", Yemen's state-run Saba news agency reported.

It was not immediately clear when the raise would take effect.

The decision came hours after hundreds of people took to the streets of Aden, the southern province that now serves as the government's de facto capital, burning tyres and blocking main roads to demand government aid.

Dozens of residents gathered in the streets of Aden again on Monday, as many local shopkeepers shuttered their doors in another act of protest.

Organisers of the demonstrations have called for civil disobedience until the government instates measures to aid millions of Yemenis struggling to survive.

The riyal has lost more than two-thirds of its value against the dollar since 2015, when Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the government's fight against Yemen's Huthi rebels.

The economic downturn, along with a blockade on the rebel-held international airport and ports, has left Yemenis unable to afford food staples and bottled water.

In January, Saudi Arabia -- Hadi's main ally -- announced a $2 billion bailout to help bolster the central bank. The riyal rose briefly that month but has since plummeted by 36 percent.

In 2016, more than one million civil servants lost their jobs as Hadi transferred the official central bank from Sanaa to Aden.

The rebels operate their own central bank from the capital, which they have controlled since 2014.

The Yemeni war has triggered what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than three-quarters of the population in need of humanitarian aid and 8.4 million at risk of famine.