A Christian charity has condemned the government´s decision to cut aid donation to Yemen by half in this year´s budget.
In October 2020, the government decided to reduce foreign aid from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent of gross national income in the upcoming budget given the strain that the coronavirus pandemic has put on the UK´s economy.
However, many aid organisations have criticised the government´s move. Josie O'Reilly, from The Catholics Agency to Overseas Aid (CAFOD) told Premier the cut is not defensible:
"The only way to put it is how the UN General Secretary has put it, which is this is a death sentence. It is a death sentence to millions of Yemeni children, to women to men. it's not justifiable," she said.
"You have a situation in Yemen which is, without exaggeration, the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, at the moment. 80 per cent of the population of the country depend on the aid to survive. That statistic in itself is mind boggling. But if you break that down and try to think of who those people are, they're just people like you like me," she continued.
During a virtual pledging conference on Monday, UN´s General Secretary, Antonio Guterres said that cutting aid was "a death sentence" as "millions of Yemeni children, women and men desperately need aid to live". The UN had hoped to raise £2.76bn for the country but received only half of that figure.
The UK has pledged to donate £87m, 54 per cent of last year´s donation of £160m.
Ms O'Reilly wants to encourage Christians to pray for Yemen:
"Continue to pray and hope that suffering will end and that we can keep delivering that aid, but also that the conflict as a whole will come to an end. We asked you to keep that people in your thoughts and prayers," she concluded.