Thank you for contacting me about the humanitarian situation in Yemen.
Before the coronavirus pandemic began, Yemen has been facing the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. Over 80 per cent of the population require some form of assistance in Yemen and 20 million people lack access to adequate medical care, with nearly a quarter of Yemen’s districts having no doctors, and only half of the country’s health facilities still functional. It is incredibly concerning that the World Health Organisation’s “optimistic” estimate is that over an 18-month period there will be 16 million coronavirus cases, and the death toll will increase if access for health workers and aid agencies remains restricted. Now, more than ever before, we must do all we can to support the Yemeni people.
That is why I welcome the new package of UK aid, worth £160 million, to help fight coronavirus and address the ongoing humanitarian crisis. It is expected that this package will provide over 700,000 medical consultations, train 12,000 healthcare workers to work safely in a covid-19 environment, and provide a much-needed boost to nearly 4,000 health centres to continue providing existing health services.
I am proud that the UK is leading the international community to do more to respond to the crisis in Yemen. Since the conflict began, the UK has committed over £1 billion of funding, which has helped meet the immediate food needs of millions of Yemenis, treated thousands of children for malnutrition and provided over one million people with improved water supply and basic sanitation.
Ultimately, only a political settlement can bring long-term stability to Yemen and tackle the worsening humanitarian crisis and I urge Yemeni leaders to agree to the UN Special Envoy’s peace plan.