Tuesday, May 21, 2024

UK commits £140m aid for Yemen amid ‘one of world’s worst humanitarian crises’

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Britain will spend £140 million in the coming year to help starving people in Yemen as they suffer “one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises”, the Foreign Secretary has said.

Lord David Cameron announced aid funding for the country will increase by 58% for 2024-2025, which the Government hopes will contribute towards treating 700,000 malnourished children.

Cash transfers will be provided by Britain which will help feed up to 864,000 people and support 500 health facilities with medicines, vaccines and nutritional supplements, the Foreign Office said.

Lord Cameron was expected to make the commitment, which will be delivered through organisations such as WFP and Unicef, during a meeting with Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak on Wednesday.

Yemen was plunged into political turmoil in 2011, when protests inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings forced then president Ali Abdallah Saleh to resign and the Houthis seized vast swathes of the country.

More recently, the Iran-backed rebel group has attacked commercial shipping in the Red Sea, which it has insisted will carry on as long as the war in Gaza continues.

Lord Cameron said: “The Yemeni people are suffering one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, with over half the population in need of humanitarian assistance, as its nine-year conflict drags on.

“The UK is stepping up to tackle the crisis in Yemen, but we need the international community to do the same to make a real difference.

“The Houthis actions have aggravated this humanitarian crisis through blocking aid from reaching those who need it in northern Yemen and attacking commercial shipping in the Red Sea, which risks pushing up the price of vital supplies.

“As well as helping on the humanitarian front, we need to do more to help the government of Yemen to deliver for the Yemeni people. Our talks covered a range of sectors and areas where the UK can help.”

The Yemeni PM said: “I highly appreciate the United Kingdom’s uplifting aid to Yemen. As we move forward, it is essential that we expand our relations to include mutual investments across various sectors.

“Yemen’s strategic position at the crossroads of global trade routes makes it an attractive hub for commerce and investment.

“Enhanced economic co-operation between Yemen and the UK, including in sectors like energy, agriculture, fisheries, and manufacturing, will generate jobs and growth that benefit both our peoples.”

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