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Yemen - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:16 am on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State 11:16 am, 19th March 2020

My Lords, as the noble Baroness may well be aware, the major obstacle to aid distribution is in the north of the country; current estimates suggest that 7 million people are affected in that part of Yemen, which is an all-time high. The situation has been exacerbated because that area is controlled by the Houthis. The noble Baroness will be further aware that they have sought to impose a 2% levy on all distribution of humanitarian aid. As Her Majesty’s Government—I am sure she acknowledges this—we are responsible for every penny of aid that is spent. It is important that this is done in a responsible manner. She should not judge the underspend but rather the effective delivery of aid to reach the most vulnerable that we are seeking to secure through UN agencies. The situation is desperate: 80% of the population are in need of humanitarian aid, but the main situation is exacerbated in the north.