Layla Moran MP, Lib Dem Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson, has described the Government’s decision to cut direct aid to Yemen as “short-sighted” and “appalling”, asking whether this is what should now be expected from the UK, “leaving other, more compassionate countries, to pick up the slack”.
During an Urgent Question in the Commons, Layla also said that the “enormous cut, in a year when 400,000 children under five might starve to death, is not just heartless but also damages the UK’s international reputation.”
Moran noted that the UK’s decision to cut aid, weeks after announcing over £1bn in new arms sales licences to Saudi Arabia, is the exact opposite of the action taken by the Biden administration in recent weeks to halt arms sales and increase aid .
The UN Secretary General has described cutting aid to Yemen as a “death sentence” for its people.
Speaking after the urgent question, Layla Moran MP said: “Halving our aid commitments to Yemen, in a year when 400,000 children under five are at risk of starving to death, is not only appalling and heartless, it’s a short-sighted move that has seriously damaged the UK’s international reputation.
“The UN Secretary General is right, and this cut shows us just what the Conservative Government’s decision to renege on its promise to spend 0.7% of GNI on development spending really means: less food, less medicine and shutting the door for millions of children lacking an education.
“The Liberal Democrats will continue to champion our international development commitments, not shrink away from them. The Government must immediately reverse this Yemen cut, halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia and give Parliament a vote on any cut to our aid budget.”