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Yemen: Armed Conflict

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL4265, tabled on 7 December 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the findings by Save the Children (1) that Yemen is the country (a) with the highest number of people in humanitarian need, and (b) with the highest number of casualties owing to explosive weapons; and (2) that at least three children are killed each day in Yemen.

Answered on

14 December 2015

The humanitarian situation in Yemen is now one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with more than 80 per cent of the population in need of humanitarian assistance. The UN declared Yemen a Level three crisis on 1 July, a category reserved for the most serious and complex crises (others are Syria, Iraq & South Sudan). Humanitarian needs remain significant across all sectors. According to the UN, 7.6 million are facing severe food shortages and 2.1 million people are malnourished, including 320,000 children who are severely malnourished. 2.3 million Yemenis are internally displaced. The UK is the 4th largest donor to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen (providing £75 million, including funding to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Save the Children, and the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) to provide specific support to children on protection, malnutrition, health, water and sanitation).

In compliance with International Humanitarian Law (IHL), no weapon should be used indiscriminately, disproportionately, or to deliberately target civilians and civilian objects. We therefore continue to urge all parties to the conflict to act in compliance with IHL and to conduct open and transparent investigations into all incidents where it is alleged that IHL has been breached.

We remain extremely concerned by civilian casualties as a result of the conflict. A political solution is the best way to bring long-term stability to Yemen and we are supporting the UN’s efforts through diplomatic channels to achieve a ceasefire and return to an inclusive political process, including through the Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron), the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), our ambassadors, and the UK Special Envoy to Yemen, my right hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Melton (Sir Alan Duncan).