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MPs seek update on what action the UK Government is taking to tackle the humanitarian crisis in Yemen as Coronavirus adds to the country's challenges

30 March 2020

The International Development Committee is responding to concerns on the ongoing crisis in Yemen - the world's worst humanitarian situation.

Humanitarian access severely limited

Shipments of food and fuel, and humanitarian access are being severely limited. There are yet to be confirmed Coronavirus cases in the country, but as its health system is already operating at under 50% capacity, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that Yemen will be unable to cope. Restrictions on travel may reduce the spread of the virus but has also seen humanitarian organisations stripped back to essential staff only.

The Committee has written to the International Development Secretary asking what measures are being taken to help alleviate humanitarian suffering in Yemen, how the Government is supporting a political solution to the crisis, and what the Department for International Development (DFID) is doing to mitigate the likely impact of a Coronavirus outbreak in Yemen.

Chair's comments

International Development Committee Chair, Sarah Champion MP, said:

"The ongoing situation in Yemen is already incredibly horrifying, but the looming pandemic threatens to stretch the country's battered healthcare resources to breaking point, making a political solution to the crisis even more pressing.

"Too many people in Yemen continue to struggle in extreme poverty, without access to healthcare, food, and necessities we all take for granted, even in current circumstances. The UK has significant influence in the region and has provided a huge amount of relief aid.

"My Committee is intent on scrutinising the UK Government's efforts to provide the basics (clean water, food, shelter and healthcare) as well as promoting the foundations of economic independence and sustainable prosperity for the future. These foundations are, first and foremost, immediate ceasefires - in particular stopping the reckless airstrikes that have devastated civilians, hospitals and schools - ad the establishment of an effective and inclusive peace process."

Further information

Image: PA