Thank you for contacting me about the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

Before the coronavirus pandemic began, Yemen has faced the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.  Over 80 per cent of the population require some form of assistance in Yemen and 20 million people lack access to adequate medical care, with nearly a quarter of Yemen’s districts having no doctors, and only half of the country’s health facilities still functional.  It is incredibly concerning that the World Health Organisation’s “optimistic” estimate is that over an 18-month period there will be 16 million coronavirus cases, and the death toll will increase if access for health workers and aid agencies remains restricted.  Now, more than ever before, we must do all we can to support the Yemeni people.

The new package of UK aid is worth £160 million and will help to fight coronavirus and address the ongoing humanitarian crisis.  It is expected that this package will provide over 700,000 medical consultations, train 12,000 healthcare workers to work safely in a covid-19 environment, and provide a much-needed boost to nearly 4,000 health centres to continue providing existing health services.

The UK is leading the international community to do more to respond to the crisis in Yemen.  Since the conflict began, the UK has committed £970 million of funding, which has helped meet the immediate food needs of millions of Yemenis, treated thousands of children for malnutrition and provided over one million people with improved water supply and basic sanitation.

The Government takes its export control responsibilities seriously and operates one of the most robust export control regimes in the world.  Licence decisions take account of prevailing circumstances at the time of application and include human rights and international humanitarian law considerations.  The Government will not issue export licences where there is a clear risk that the goods might be used for internal repression or in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law.

Ultimately, only a political settlement can bring long-term stability to Yemen and tackle the worsening humanitarian crisis and I urge Yemeni leaders to agree to the UN Special Envoy’s peace plan.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.