UK aids war-torn Yemen with further £200m

29 Mar 19

The UK has committed an additional £200 million of aid to war-torn Yemen so far this year to help tackle the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The move brings Britain’s total commitment to the country to more than £770m since the conflict began in 2015 between Houthi rebels and a Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen’s civil war.

The funds aim to help feed more than 1 million Yemenis each month, treat 30,000 children for malnutrition, and provide improved water supplies and basic sanitation.

In a statement on the fourth anniversary of the intervention by Saudi Arabia and eight other mostly Sunni Arab states – backed by the UK, US and France – the British government called on both sides to urgently implement agreements reached at peace talks in Stockholm.

“We have been clear that a political settlement is the only way to bring long-term stability to Yemen and to address the worsening humanitarian crisis,” said foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt and international development secretary Penny Mordaunt.

“Talks in Stockholm in December were a landmark point – the first time that the parties had come to the negotiating table in over two years.

“But there remains a serious risk that this window of opportunity to make progress towards lasting peace slips away.”

The ministers said the UK has been at the forefront of work towards finding a political solution to the conflict, leading on two United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

Hunt visited Yemen earlier this month – the first western foreign minister to do so since the conflict began – and Britain has also led efforts to bolster Yemen’s struggling economy by helping to stabilise the currency and ensuring the government pays public-sector salaries.

UK funds have also supported the work of the Yemeni Women Pact for Peace and Security to increase women’s leadership and inclusion in the official peace process.

  • Gavin O'Toole

    A freelance journalist. He has written six books about Latin America and taught the politics of the region at Queen Mary, University of London.

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