UK pledges more aid for Yemen

25 Feb 19

The UK government is to provide an additional £200m of aid to Yemen, where millions of people are suffering in what has been called the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis”.

The money will be used to give cash and food vouchers to 3.8 million Yemeni people. It will also be used to screen and treat 20,000 children for malnutrition, to give 2 million people better access to water supply, and provide basic sanitation.

Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt said: “Yemen is suffering the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Millions of people edge ever closer to famine every day.”

The announcement brings the total UK humanitarian support to the war-torn country to £770m. The conflict has been running for four years, and nearly 10 million people are at risk of starvation.

In response to the announcement of extra funding, Oxfam’s country director for Yemen, Muhsin Siddiquey, said the aid was welcome but “its incoherent policy means that what it gives with one hand, it takes away with another”.

 “The UK government must stop fuelling the war by selling arms that exacerbate the conflicts,” he said.

British arms sales to Saudi Arabia have been under scrutiny for some time, most recently in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the civilian death toll from the war in Yemen.

The UK government has licensed nearly £5bn worth of arms to the Saudi government since the conflict started in 2015.

Aid donors are meeting at the UN pledging conference in Geneva this week, an event that brings together governments and UN agencies to discuss aid to Yemen.

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