Yemen: Humanitarian Aid

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 14th October 2015.

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Photo of Harry Harpham Harry Harpham Labour, Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if the Government will make representations to all parties in the conflict in Yemen to ensure humanitarian access.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We have made clear to all parties to the conflict that they must take all reasonable steps to facilitate access for humanitarian aid, and have emphasised the importance of non-politicisation of aid, as well as the need to facilitate access for commercial goods. The UK is also supporting the UN in working with the Saudi-led military coalition and Government of Yemen to make the system for verifying shipping more efficient, which should further ease access for aid. The Foreign Secretary met President Hadi on 28 September and spoke to Saudi Foreign Minister Al Jubeir on 29 September in the margins of the UN General Assembly, and underlined the importance the UK attaches to finding a political solution to the current crisis as soon as possible. The Foreign Secretary also reinforced the necessity of full compliance with international humanitarian law and of facilitating access humanitarian and commercial shipping to the Saudi Foreign Minister. The Secretary of State for International Development, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening) co-chaired an international meeting on the Yemen humanitarian crisis on 28 September in the margins of the UN General Assembly. This was attended by representatives of the military coalition governments and by the government of Yemen. In this meeting, she reiterated that it was critical for all parties to the conflict to facilitate immediate humanitarian access into and within Yemen, and lift any restrictions on commercial and humanitarian shipping. To tackle the humanitarian crisis, the UK has so far announced £75 million – through UN agencies and humanitarian NGOs - to support Yemenis affected by the crisis, including those forced to flee their homes, with emergency shelter, healthcare, water and food assistance, as well as supporting UN work to co-ordinate the humanitarian response.

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