Greening warns on Yemen famine as UK commits £20m in aid

28 Sep 15


Yemen is on the brink of famine, British international development secretary Justine Greening has warned, calling on other countries to also step up after the UK committed £20m in emergency support.

The Arab country is mired in ongoing conflict, which is disrupting the delivery of essential fuel and food to those who need it the most.

Around six million people face critical food shortages across the country, according to the UN. Some 80% of Yemen’s population require humanitarian assistance and nearly 1.5 million people have been displaced by fighting.

Greening called on the international community not to “close its eyes to the threat of famine” in Yemen.

“We need urgent action now to prevent thousands of needless deaths. Ultimately, only a ceasefire and a durable political process can resolve this crisis. But in the short term there are practical steps that can and will save lives,” she said.

“The famine in Somalia in 2011 showed us the human cost of the international community standing back and not acting until the worst had happened. Meanwhile, the Syrian refugee crisis highlights the impact of leaving a humanitarian disaster under-funded.

“We need to learn those lessons in Yemen. It is not too late to prevent a worsening disaster, but time is rapidly running out.”

This latest funding will provide most of the vulnerable people, including those forced to flee their homes, with food, water and sanitation, nutrition and healthcare.

  • Judith Ugwumadu
    Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith writes about public finance, public services and economics across Public Finance International and Public Finance. She previously undertook reporting stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express.

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