Yemen: Armed Conflict

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 11th June 2018.

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Photo of Richard Burden Richard Burden Labour, Birmingham, Northfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to (a) protect and (b) support civilians in Yemen; and what recent estimate he has made of the number of civilian casualties in that country since the conflict began.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

​We continue to call on all sides to the conflict to respect International Humanitarian Law (IHL). We are aware of reports of alleged violations of IHL by actors in the conflict and take these very seriously. It is important that credible allegations of violations of IHL are investigated.

Addressing the continuing humanitarian crisis is a top priority for this Government. In 2017/18 the Government committed £205 million in aid to Yemen, making the UK the third largest humanitarian donor to Yemen, and the second largest to the UN appeal. We prioritised life-saving interventions including food and nutrition support to 1.7 million people and clean water and sanitation for an expected 1.2 million people. On 3 April, we announced an additional £170 million in response to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen for 2018/2019. This funding will meet the immediate food needs of 2.5 million Yemenis, and comes on top of over £400 million in bilateral support since the conflict began in 2015.

We do not maintain records of casualty figures for the conflict in Yemen. Gathering data is extremely challenging considering the complexities of the situation and the challenges faced by humanitarian monitors across the country. Estimates by the UN and NGOs vary considerably.

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