The following letter is written by one of UNA-UK's local campaigners. Please feel free to use the letter and adapt where necessary to make it personal to you.
I am writing to you out of extreme concern for the people of Yemen – and to urge you to put Yemen at the top of your agenda and do all you can to help stop their suffering.
According to the Red Cross, 40 children were killed, and many wounded, when a school bus was hit by a Saudi airstrike in a Northern Yemen town on the 9th August 2018. UNICEF’s Director said “This unconscionable attack on children should be turning point in Yemen’s brutal war – enough is enough”.
Yemen is facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The United Nations is warning that 13 million are facing starvation and that Yemen could be the 'worst famine in 100 years' More than 22 million people need urgent assistance, while 11 million people are on the brink of famine. 3 million are now suffering from acute malnutrition with a million suffering from cholera. 500,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. A child dies every 10 minutes from malnutrition or disease. Save the Children estimated that 50,000 children died of hunger and disease last year.
And yet, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has put Yemen’s aid lifeline port city of Hudaydah under attack. 90% of all humanitarian aid and commercial food and fuel supplies pass through this port.
The impact these attacks is catastrophic and will cut off the only substantial aid lifeline for Yemen’s 22 million dependent on aid. The Coalition have taken the Airport and are attacking the outskirts of the city, with its population of 600,000. Houthi forces are embedded in the city. Any further attacks would result in massive civilian loss of life. The UN have said that Hudaydah is “just one airstrike away from an unstoppable epidemic” after Saudi airstrikes hit and damaged a sanitation facility and water station that “supplies the majority of the water to the whole city”.
MPs of all Parties have signed a letter to the Prime Minister urging her “to use all available means to end the catastrophic military assault on Hudaydah Port by the Saudi and Emirati led coalition. This includes removing material support from combatants. We implore you to make a statement condemning an attack on Hudaydah and calling for an urgent ceasefire”.
The letter, which is co-sponsored by Andrew Mitchell, Keith Vaz and Alison Thewliss, has been signed by over 100 MPs including Tom Tugendhat, Chair Foreign Affairs Committee, Stephen Twigg, Chair, International Development Committee, Rt Hon Harriet Harman, Chair, Joint Committee on Human Rights, Sir Vince Cable, Jeremy Lefroy, Mark Pritchard and Zac Goldsmith.
I urge you to please add your name to the letter, which is still open for signatures. It is being coordinated by Andrew Mitchell’s (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Keith Vaz’s offices (email@example.com).
The letter is published on the Yemen All Party Parliamentary Group website: http://www.yemenappg.com/pmletter