British Aid and British Arms: A coherent approach to Yemen?

Publication date

11 Sep 2015

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The situation in Yemen is among the worst humanitarian crises in the world. Since the conflict dramatically escalated in March 2015, more than 1.4 million people have fled their homes, and more than 20 million people now lack access to clean water and sanitation. The World Food Programme has warned that the country is 'one step away from famine'. Long a lead donor in Yemen, the UK has given tens of millions of pounds in new aid this year to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis. However, British arms may be contributing to the growing number of civilian deaths, as evidence mounts of war crimes by all parties, including Houthi and Saudi-led coalition forces. The UK government has declined to tell Parliament what arms Britain is still supplying to parties engaged in the conflict.

This briefing note calls for the suspension of all British arms shipments to the parties engaged in the conflict; for the government to report to Parliament and the public on arms already sent; and for the UK to use its influence to push for a ceasefire and a negotiated peace.