Thank you to everyone who has contacted me about the level of aid funding to Yemen.
On Tuesday 2nd March the Government was asked to make a statement on this.
During a United Nations pledging conference on Monday (1 March 2021), the Government Minister announced that the UK will provide at least £87 million in aid to Yemen over the course of the financial year 2021-22. This is down from the £160 million pledged last year.
I am very concerned about the Government’s decision to reduce life-saving support for the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. After six years of devastating conflict, much of the Yemeni population rely on food aid to survive, and thousands of people in the country are at risk of famine. The potential impact of the Government’s decision is deeply worrying.
As well as reducing the level of aid funding, the UK continues to export arms to Saudi Arabia, which are contributing to sustaining the war in Yemen. The Government must urgently stop all UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
The International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act 2015 placed in law a commitment for the UK to spend 0.7% of gross national income on official development assistance each calendar year. Despite a manifesto pledge to maintain the 0.7% commitment, the Government has announced that this will be reduced to 0.5% this year.
Following the Government’s decision to reduce aid to Yemen, I am also very concerned about the other priorities where aid spending will be reduced this year.
The UK has a proud history of stepping up and supporting those in need. As the penholder for Yemen at the United Nations, we can help bring this devastating conflict to an end. We must stand up for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable.