Saudi Arabia & Yemen

I share your concerns regarding the crisis in Yemen and the plight of the Yemini people who are caught up in the conflict. I know that the Government fully recognises the severity of the unfolding humanitarian crisis.  I am proud that the UK is leading the global response to this crisis in Yemen, as the fourth largest humanitarian donor to the country. The UK recently announced an additional £170 million for Yemen, to cover the 2018/19 financial year. This funding is in addition to the over £400 million of bilateral support from the UK since the conflict began in 2015 and will provide food to 2.5 million Yemeni people.
 
Britain has taken the lead in lobbying across the international community for urgent and unobstructed access for humanitarian assistance into Yemen. The Government continues to call for the modalities for a ceasefire to be agreed. You may be interested to know that the UK proposed and co-ordinated the UN Security Council Presidential Statement earlier this year, which repeated the call for unhindered humanitarian access.
 
My colleagues and I absolutely support calls from the US for a de-escalation of conflict in Yemen. It is inescapable that a nationwide ceasefire will only have an effect on the ground if it is underpinned by a long-lasting political deal. The UK will continue to encourage all parties to work towards this, as discussed recently by the Foreign Secretary and Martin Griffiths, UN Special Envoy for Yemen.
 
The UK continues to work hard in order to achieve stability in the region. The Houthi insurgency overthrew a legitimate, United Nations backed Government in Yemen. The insurgency has 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.
 
With regards to the UK visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from Saudi Arabia this year, I am encouraged that the Government is in dialogue with Saudi Arabia to address regional and international issues, including addressing the need for a political resolution to the conflict in Yemen.
 
I believe it is important for the UK to engage with Saudi Arabia in order to encourage change. You may be interested to know during a visit to Saudi Arabia at the end of last year, the Prime Minister made clear to the Crown Prince that the port of Hodeidah needed to be reopened for humanitarian and commercial supplies. Saudi Arabia then reopened the port, which shows the value and importance of engagement.