Humanitarian situation in Yemen

Part of Petitions – in the House of Commons at 6:12 pm on 21st July 2015.

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Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Shadow Minister (Public Health) 6:12 pm, 21st July 2015

I rise to present a petition on a matter of great importance to people in my constituency and across the UK. I have received numerous representations from my constituents about the dire humanitarian crisis in Yemen. A petition on the matter has been signed by more than 600 individuals in Liverpool alone.

Due to the ongoing conflict thousands of people have lost their lives and homes, and utilities, ports and airports have been destroyed. The United Nations has declared its highest level humanitarian emergency in Yemen. The British embassy has closed, and there are now no embassies open in the country. Many British citizens, or immediate relatives of British citizens, are currently stranded in Yemen. Because of the conflict they cannot cross into neighbouring countries to apply for the visas that they need. Little or no support is being offered to help these people. The petition states:

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to take urgent action to ease the suffering of friends and families of British citizens in Yemen by speeding up and simplifying the application process for visa or entry requirements, by allowing the issuing of temporary sponsored visas for relatives and dependents of British citizens residing in the UK who are waiting for visas or whose passport applications are being processed and by coordinating evacuations for vulnerable British citizens who are in urgent need of evacuation from Yemen.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The petition of residents of the UK,

Declares that the dire inhumane situation in Yemen due to the armed militia conflict (civil war) and the coalition bombing has led to thousands of people losing their lives or being injured as well as the destruction of thousands of homes, utilities, ports and airports; further that the United Nations now recognises the situation in Yemen as the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis; further that many British citizens and sole dependents and relatives of British citizens are stranded in Yemen; further that the petitioners have concerns about the requirements for settlement visas because the visa requirements cannot be met by many people and because Yemeni nationals who are spouses or children of British citizens cannot cross over into neighbouring countries and cannot apply for such visas as there are no embassies in Yemen; and further that a petition in Liverpool was signed by over 600 individuals.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to take urgent action to ease the suffering of friends and families of British citizens in Yemen by speeding up and simplifying the application process for visa or entry requirements, by allowing the issuing of temporary sponsored visas for relatives and dependents of British citizens residing in the UK who are waiting for visas or whose passport applications are being processed and by coordinating evacuations for vulnerable British citizens who are in urgent need of evacuation from Yemen.

And the petitioners remain, etc.]

[P001536]