The leader of the Yemen's Houthi rebels has called for donations after the government ordered the central bank relocated from the rebel-held capital to the southern port city of Aden.

In a televised speech from his hideout on Tuesday, Abdul-Malek al-Houthi called on people to resist the "starvation" of Yemen, saying "we want to teach these idiots a lesson."

His remarks came two days after exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi ordered the relocation of the bank to Aden, which is controlled by his forces. That would deprive the Houthis of Yemen's limited oil revenues and further cripple the economy in the rebel-held north.

Hadi's government is allied with a Saudi-led military coalition that has been waging an air campaign against the Houthis since March 2015.