What's Happening in Parliament

07/11/17
Following the urgent question in Parliament today a statement was made in the House of Lords.

The Minister of State, Department for International Development (Lord Bates) (Con)
My Lords, with the leave of the House, I will repeat an Answer to an Urgent Question on Yemen given by my right honourable friend Alistair Burt in another place earlier this afternoon.
“Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Some 21 million people in Yemen are in need of humanitarian assistance. Nearly 10 million are in need of immediate help to support or sustain life. As the third-largest humanitarian donor to Yemen and the second-largest donor to the UN appeal, the UK is already leading the world’s response to the crisis in Yemen. Our funding of £155 million this year will provide enough food for 1.8 million people for at least a month, nutrition support for 1.7 million people, and clean water and sanitation for an expected 1.2 million people. As penholder on Yemen at the UN Security Council, the UK was responsible for a presidential statement earlier this year that called on all parties to provide safe, rapid and unhindered access for humanitarian supplies and personnel to all affected governorates in Yemen. We continue to call on all parties to the conflict to respect the statement and take action accordingly.

As the Foreign Secretary set out in his statement of Sunday 5 November, the UK condemns the attempted missile strike on Riyadh last Saturday in the strongest terms. The ongoing ballistic missile attacks by Houthi-Saleh forces against Saudi Arabia threaten regional security and prolong the conflict. This latest attack deliberately targeted a civilian area. We recognise the coalition’s concern about illicit flows of weapons to the Houthis, which is a direct contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 2216.

We recognise that following Saturday night’s attack, Saudi Arabia needs to take urgent measures to stem the flow of weapons into Yemen. At the same time, it is vital that the country remains open to commercial and humanitarian access. The Saudi-led coalition has confirmed that it will take into account the provision of humanitarian supplies. We are encouraging it to ensure that humanitarian and commercial supplies and access can continue. Our ambassador is actively making this case directly to the Saudi authorities on these points.​
There remains a desperate need for a political solution to the Yemen conflict to help end the suffering of the Yemeni people, to counter the destabilising influence and interference there, and to end attacks on neighbouring countries. It is vital this situation does not escalate further. The UK will continue to work towards a political settlement that supports regional stability and calls on all countries in the region to support that goal. We will also continue to support our partners in the region to protect themselves against security threats”.

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