British International Development Secretary Justine Greening set out £20 million package of emergency support to Yemen and calls on other countries to also step up, UK International Development official website reported on Saturday.
The lack of international action on the crisis in Yemen shows worrying parallels with the delayed response to the famine in Somalia that killed more than a quarter of a million people, Greening warned.
Greening also announced that the UK would co-host an international meeting on the crisis in New York on Monday to agree a rapid and concerted response to the crisis from the international community.
Justine Greening said "the world cannot close its eyes to the threat of famine in Yemen. We need urgent action now to prevent thousands of needless deaths. Ultimately, only a ceasefire and a durable political process can resolve this crisis. But in the short term there are practical steps that can and will save lives."
"We need imports of fuel, food and other vital supplies to flow into Yemen in much larger quantities. Aid agencies must get better access within Yemen so they can save lives. And other countries must follow our lead and step up with urgently needed new funding."
Ongoing fighting in Yemen is disrupting the delivery of essential fuel and food to those most in need, putting millions of lives at risk. Four out of every five Yemenis – more than 80 per cent of the population – are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance and nearly 1.5 million people have been displaced by fighting.
The £20 million in funding committed by the International Development Secretary today takes the total committed by the UK in response to the crisis to £75 million. Only Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the US have pledged more.