In Yemen, 24 million people require urgent humanitarian assitance, 9.9 million of whom are children. Saudi Arabia has been accused by an independent UN panel of using the threat of starvation as 'an instrument of war.'
This is a UK issue. On the Security Council, the UK is the 'lead' country for Yemen. It also has close bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia - the country that is leading military action against Yemen's Houthi rebels and is, according to the UN, responsible for the majority of civilian deaths. The UK must use its influence with Saudi Arabia to press them to adhere to the current ceasefire and ongoing peace talks.
We are approaching the fourth anniversary of the conflict in March. To mark this and to build further momentum in Parliament, we want you to take action and write to your MP. At the end of the page there is a form so you can let us know how you got on. Please help us spread the word by sharing this page widely.
UNA-UK has joined forces with a host of advocacy and humanitarian organisations to campaign together to reduce the suffering in Yemen. Below is our shared list of recommendations for which we urge you to personally ask the Foreign Secretary to action.
Key asks - what to include
- Put the upmost diplomatic and public pressure on the Saudis and Emiratis to agree to ceasefire talks covering the entire country, and to join peace negotiations leading to a lasting political settlement. To ensure peace talks are inclusive and include Yemeni women, youth and civil society.
- Suspend UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates whilst their remains a clear risk that these will be used to commit serious violations of international humanitarian law.
- Work unceasingly with the various actors to ensure aid agencies have the fullest possible access to all regions of the country especially Hudaydah, Sanna and Taiz.
- Work unceasingly with the Saudis to ensure that both aid agencies and journalists have full access to Sanna International Airport.
- Put the upmost diplomatic and public pressure on the Saudis to:
- inject money into Yemen’s central bank so tens of thousands of public sector workers, including those in Houthi-controlled areas, can be paid
- allow more commercial imports of food, fuel, cooking oil, medical supplies and other essential items to enter Hudaydah and Salif ports,
- stop blocking imports of containers into Hudaydah that contain essential goods such as milk powder, medical supplies, cooking oil, cleaning agents etc.
- persuade the Yemini Government:
- to issue ‘letters of credit’ to commercial importers of food and to facilitate this by using the promised $2b Saudi loan to ensure that both northern and southern branches of the Central Bank are adequately financed,
- immediately facilitate the onward road transfer of the very large number of containers ‘stuck’ in the port of Aden
- Pursue accountability for all violations of international humanitarian law throughout the conflict.
- To demand that the Saudis stop bombing populated areas.
Tips on writing to your MP
- Find out who your MP is by typing your postcode in at www.theyworkforyou.com
- Find their contact details MPs at www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/
- Browse their personal website to find their email address for letters and surgery meetings for constituents. Send your letter to both email addresses.
- Get personal. Write a letter/email to your MP in your own words as this shows the strength of feeling you have about the issue. Here’s a letter template written by Paul Tippell, the voluteer UNA-UK Yemen Constituency Coordinator. Please do adapt it to make it more personal to you. Here is a briefing for your MP and list of 'MP asks' to help guide you.
- Please consider incorporating the key asks mentioned above - these practical action points will help your MP to take the issue forward with Government.
- Ask your MP to take action on your behalf in these ways:
(1) by writing a letter to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
(2) by speaking to the Secretary of State in person
(3) by raising your concerns as oral and written questions in parliament
- Don't forget to introduce yourself and include your full name and postal address in your correspondence.
- MPs get hundreds of emails so it is very important to phone both the constituency and parliamentary offices and ask that they draw your email to the MPs attention. Try to build up a good relationship with the MP's secretary and keep in regular contact.
- Ask your MP to keep in regular contact and to give you copies of any responses they receive.
- Once you've sent your letter/email, please let UNA-UK know and share this webpage with your networks
- Please forward any replies you receive to firstname.lastname@example.org