What's Happening in Parliament

Stephen Twigg (Liverpool and West Derby) asked an urgent question today in Parliament on the humanitarian situation in Yemen.
The full debate can be found here https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2018-04-24/debates/7ECC60E7-79D1-472B-AB7B-6D512818BF49/Yemen

Stephen Twigg MP - To ask the Minister of State for International Development to update the House on the humanitarian situation in Yemen?

The responding Minister was Harriett Baldwin, Minister of State for International Development.

Harriett Baldwin

''The UK is deeply concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. More than 22 million people—over three quarters of the population—are in need of humanitarian assistance. The UN estimates that 17.8 million people in Yemen do not have reliable access to food and that 8.4 million face extreme food shortages. Last year, the country suffered the worst cholera outbreak ever recorded in any country in a single year.

At the Yemen pledging conference in Geneva earlier this month, the Minister of State for the Middle East announced £170 million of support to Yemen this year from the UK. That funding will meet the food needs of 2.5 million Yemenis. Last year, the UK was the second largest donor to the UN’s humanitarian appeal for Yemen. Our funding provided more than 5.8 million people with at least a month’s supply of food, nutrition support for 1.7 million and clean water and sanitation for approximately 1.2 million people, but money alone will not be enough. We must see sustained progress on the response to this year’s cholera outbreak; we must see payment of public salaries to millions of civil servants and their dependants; and we must see unhindered humanitarian access into Yemen. The UK has led the way here, too, lobbying and advising all parties to take the life-saving steps to prevent further deterioration of the crisis.

We are aware of reports over the weekend of significant civilian casualties resulting from coalition airstrikes. We take those reports extremely seriously. The Saudi-led coalition has confirmed that it will carry out an investigation. It is essential that that happens without delay, that the results are published and that the lessons learned are acted upon. Our hearts go out to the families of those killed. We call on all parties to comply with international humanitarian law. A political settlement is the only way to bring long-term stability to Yemen and to address the worsening humanitarian crisis. The Yemeni parties must engage constructively and in good faith to overcome obstacles and to find a political solution to end the conflict.''