This week we held a public action for Yemen outside the Houses of Parliament to coincide with a meeting between Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and high-level representatives from the US, UAE, Oman and Saudi Arabia in London, and called on the UK Government to do more to help children in Yemen affected by the conflict.
What’s happening in Yemen?
In recent weeks we’ve been warning that Yemen risks being plunged into the biggest famine the world has seen in decades by a blockade imposed by the Saudi Arabia & UAE-led coalition.
Despite limited concessions last week to allow small amounts of aid into the country, the blockade has prevented hundreds of thousands of tonnes of life-saving humanitarian and commercial supplies from entering Yemen over the last three weeks, including medicines, vaccines, food and fuel.
An average of 130 children under the age of five are dying every day from extreme hunger and disease, which is being exacerbated by the blockade.
What did we do?
As part of our action we spelt out the number ‘130’ with 130 empty plates- one for each child who dies from hunger and disease every day in Yemen- on Parliament Square, to draw attention to Yemen’s food crisis.
We were very pleased to also incorporate paper plates sent to us by London school children with powerful hand-written messages on to Boris Johnson calling on him to help end the blockade.
We called on Boris Johnson to make a public statement condemning all arbitrary restrictions on access for vital commercial and humanitarian imports of food, fuel and medicines into Yemen; to set out a plan to reinvigorate the peace process; and to put increased pressure on Saudi Arabia and the UAE to fully lift the blockade.
Yemen can’t wait any longer for the UK to show leadership on this issue. As a close ally of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the UK Government has a moral duty to use its leverage to ensure life-saving supplies are getting into Yemen and to help bring this devastating war to a close.
Using the hashtag #yemencantwait, we’ve been sharing some of the images from the action on social media. To help keep the pressure up, you can share your own message to Boris Johnson using the same hashtag.
Until the blockade is lifted, tell the Government you agree with us by getting involved in the next stage of the campaign, and ask them to do more to protect the children of Yemen.
If you’re interested in taking further action with us, please sign up to our Community Campaigning training day on 9 December in London.