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Middle East: Food

Question for Department for International Development

UIN 43746, tabled on 5 May 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions she has had with her international counterparts on the need to tackle (a) malnutrition and (b) food scarcity among vulnerable people throughout the Middle East.

Answered on

12 May 2020

On Friday 17 April, the Secretary of State for International Development spoke with the Executive Director of the World Food Programme, David Beasley. Their discussion covered COVID-19, the need for humanitarian access in Yemen (to enable the delivery of food to vulnerable people) and the current food scarcity risk posed by locusts in the Middle East and Africa.

On Monday 27 April, I spoke with the Government of Yemen’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Hadrami, where we discussed ways of stabilising Yemen’s economy (which will be critical for ensuring food imports and preventing a further deterioration in food scarcity).

On Thursday 23 April, DFID’s Acting Permanent Secretary discussed ways of improving humanitarian funding levels in Yemen, including in response to malnutrition and food scarcity, with the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mark Lowcock.

Ministers and UK officials also remain in close contact with other donors on malnutrition and food scarcity across the Middle East.