Thank you for contacting me about Yemen and the humanitarian crisis caused by the war.
I share your concerns regarding the crisis in Yemen and the plight of the Yemeni people, especially the children, who are caught up in the conflict. I can assure you that the Government fully recognises the severity of the unfolding humanitarian crisis. The UK has recently announced new UK aid worth £200 million to help millions of people at risk of starvation in Yemen, bringing the total that the UK has committed since the start of the four-year conflict to £770 million.
The additional aid will support provision to meet basic needs for over 3.8 million people, treat 20,000 vulnerable children suffering from malnutrition and provide 2 million people with improved water supply and basic sanitation.
I was encouraged that the Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, recently visited Yemen, the first Western foreign minister to do so since the conflict began. As he made clear, this is now the last chance saloon for the Stockholm peace process – it is imperative that both sides stick to their commitments. None of the parties really wants a return to hostilities so they need to put aside their anger and mistrust and take the risks that are always necessary at the start of any peace process.
The situation in Yemen was not caused by the Saudi coalition but by a Houthi-led insurgency. The insurgency overthrew a legitimate, United Nations backed Government in Yemen. The insurgents have cruelly executed a number of people including the former President of Yemen and prevented humanitarian aid reaching those most in need. The legitimate Government of Yemen requested the support of its neighbours and allies, including the UK and Saudi Arabia, to help tackle the rebel insurgency.
I am encouraged that the Government is working with Saudi Arabia to address regional and international issues, including addressing the need for a political resolution to the conflict in Yemen.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP