Yemen: Humanitarian Aid

Department for International Development written question – answered on 6th November 2018.

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Photo of Yasmin Qureshi Yasmin Qureshi Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent steps her Department has taken to ensure that (a) food, (b) fuel and (c) medical supplies reach hard to access parts of Yemen.

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

The UK has played a leading role in helping secure vital access for food, fuel, and medicine into and throughout Yemen. Last year when Red Sea port access was restricted after a Houthi ballistic missile attack on Riyadh’s civilian airport, UK diplomacy including a visit from the Secretary of State for Development to Riyadh led to the ports being fully reopened. As a part of this effort, the UK provides £1.3 million to the UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism to give the Coalition confidence that weapons are not coming in to Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen on commercial ships. Red Sea ports remain fully operational and continue to import most of the food and fuel on which Yemenis rely.

As we have consistently made clear, the Houthis must facilitate access throughout areas they control which is where most of the population live. As penholder on Yemen in the UN Security Council, the UK continues to call on all parties to comply with the UNSC Presidential Statements of June 2017 and March 2018, which insist that all parties facilitate safe, rapid, and unhindered access for both the humanitarian response and commercial supplies.

On 3 April, the UK announced an additional £170 million in response to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen for this financial year (2018/2019). This funding will meet immediate food needs for 2.5 million Yemenis - as well as providing fuel and medical supplies across the country - and brings the total UK bilateral support to Yemen to over £570 million since 2015.

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