The situation in Yemen, particularly for children, is of serious concern. The Government continues its efforts to address the urgent humanitarian needs and to bring about a political solution to the end of the conflict. The UK is one of the largest donors to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and £85 million of UK aid for 2015/16 is providing vital medical, food and emergency shelter supplies for displaced Yemeni people and children.
The UK operates one of the most rigorous and transparent export control regimes. All UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia are scrutinised in detail through established processes, and against EU and national consolidated criteria. This process takes account of all relevant information at the time of application, including if there is a clear risk that it might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law.
The UK has been consistently clear with all sides to the conflict about the importance of compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law. It is essential that the conflict in Yemen continues to be monitored closely, and that all risks are accounted for as part of the vigilant risk assessments for exports to Saudi Arabia.
I believe that a political solution remains the best way to bring long-term stability to Yemen. But this must be brought about in order to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.