Break the Fast over Yemen

British Yemenis invite development ministers to traditional breakfast in call for more aid to feed millions of hungry Yemenis.

What?
British Yemenis will be sitting down to a traditional Yemeni breakfast outside DFID in a call for more aid for the country. Food will be available for journalists to try.

Why?
Over 7 million Yemenis do not have enough food to eat. UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, is warning that malnutrition levels are as severe as Somalia in some parts of Yemen. While donors pledged $38 billion for Libya, Tunisia and Egypt aid to Yemen, the poorest country in the region, is being cut.

Where?
Dept for International Development entrance, 1 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5HE

When?
Monday 3rd October 8.00am – 9.30am

The UK has announced £15m humanitarian assistance to the country, some of it to help feed malnourished children. Due to the current political turmoil, UK aid appears suspended as aid groups such as Oxfam report millions are at risk.

The UK also co-chairs the Friends of Yemen group of countries which has encouraged much richer Gulf donors to give aid but billions of promised aid has never arrived. The last Friends of Yemen conference took place over a year ago, when Foreign Secretary William Hague MP said that ‘Yemeni children face a future of starvation.’

As a comparison, the UK has given over £124 million to the Horn of Africa crisis. The Ministry of Defence reported in June the Libya military intervention cost £260 million. Finance ministers pledged at the G8 summit in September to give $38bn (£25bn) in aid and loans to Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan.

Wadah Mubgar, from Ealing in London said “Children are starving now in Yemen. British Yemenis from across the UK have sent shipments of food and medicine to the country. The UK government has been a generous donor to the country but now is the time to help, while millions are in desperate need. I want the UK to get all the other donors together and knock heads together quickly so we can help avert a famine.”

Notes to Editors:
Yemen Aid is organising this demonstration also sent more than 40 tonnes shipment of food, clothes and medicines to displaced Yemenis sheltering in schools in Aden. See the pictures at https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/UK-Yemen-Aid/156279277775764

The group will be handing over a letter to the International Development Secretary after the event and are also seeking a meeting with UK aid officials to express their concerns.

Details of UK aid to Yemen can be found out:
http://www.dfid.gov.uk/where-we-work/middle-east–north-africa/yemen/
The UK detailed £15 million humanitarian assistance on 1 July:
http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Media-Room/Press-releases/2011/New-British-drive-to-help-tackle-crisis-in-Yemen/
No figure for planned UK aid spend 2011/12 is listed but the UK spent £28.9 million in 2009/10 and announced in The Guardian that the UK planned to double aid from £46.7 million this year to £90 million by 2015:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2011/feb/27/uk-aid-budget-andrew-mitchell
Details of the Foreign Secretary’s opening remarks as Chair of the Friends of Yemen conference in September 2010 can be found at:
http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/global-issues/mena/yemen/ (see right hand corner Related Documents: Foreign Secretary Friends of Yemen Statement (PDF).
The World Bank announced aid suspension:
http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/MENAEXT/YEMENEXTN/0,,contentMDK:22972620~pagePK:1497618~piPK:217854~theSitePK:310165,00.html
£124.29 UK aid to Horn of Africa crisis:
http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Documents/Horn-of-Africa-factsheet-28-09-2011.pdf
G8 finance ministers pledge of $38 billion to Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14866198
UNICEF and Oxfam reports:
http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportID=93532
http://www.oxfam.org.uk/applications/blogs/pressoffice/2011/09/19/yemen-after-months-of-unrest-country-reaches-breaking-point/

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About safamubgar

A Londoner with an eye for the world, and a lazy passion for culture and books. Also a Springing Arab, of the Yemeni variety.
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