UK pledges extra £50m in aid to Yemen

18 Dec 17

The UK has pledged to provide an extra £50m to help stop the “human tragedy” in Yemen and feed millions in need.

The UK is the third largest donor to the Yemen crisis and this pledge brings the total UK aid to Yemen to £205m for the 2017-18 year.

International development secretary Penny Mordaunt said today the additional aid would help feed millions of people for one month.

Mordaunt said: “UK aid will save lives with new food and fuel; fuel that will produce food, pump clean water to help stop the spread of cholera, and power hospital generators.”

The funding will provide food and food vouchers for 3.4 million people for one month, including children.

It will also help produce food including mill over 106,000 metric tonnes of grain into flour and provide fuel to deliver food supplies, keep hospitals running and pump clean water into major cities.

The additional aid includes £40m to the World Food Programme for food from the Department for International Development’s (DFID) crisis reserve and allocations from DFID’s wider country budget.

The remaining £10m is for the World Food Programme for fuel for humanitarian purposes from re-allocations from DFID’s wider country budget.

During a visit to Saudi Arabia, the secretary of state also called for an immediate opening up of the commercial and humanitarian access into Yemen and to find a “peaceful solution” to stop Yemen “falling into a catastrophic famine”.

More than 20 million Yemenis have become reliant on humanitarian help since the civil war started in March 2015 when rebels took over the capital city.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels imposed restrictions in an effort to prevent supplies reaching their enemies and closed the borders, including air and sea ports, last month.

The UK, among other Western governments, has been criticised for selling weapons export licences to Saudi Arabia. Since the war began, it has sold at least £4.6bn in arms to the Saudi coalition.

Mordaunt said: “The harrowing stories I have heard from Yemenis and aid workers today are a powerful reminder of the human tragedy of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis where three quarters of the population are in desperate need.”

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