Expansion of truce is in interests of all parties and Yemeni people

Thank you President and thanks to Special Envoy Grundberg and Ms Mudawi for their briefings.

On behalf of the United Kingdom, I would like to pay tribute to Mr Grundberg’s continued leadership, which has been critical to securing this two-month extension to the truce, a significant achievement by the UN and the parties. For the Yemeni people, it means an additional two months of relative peace, and the chance to keep benefitting from the confidence building measures.

Fuel prices for ordinary Yemenis have been seriously eased thanks to the delivery of 720 thousand metric tons of oil into Hodeidah Port during the last four months. Yemenis have been accorded renewed freedom of movement thanks to the commercial round-trip flights out from Sana’a.

While the extension of the truce is welcome, we recognise and we’ve heard about today the challenge of the two months ahead. We urge the parties to continue their constructive engagement with the UN Special Envoy and to abide by their commitments. Continued cooperation and an expansion of the truce is in the interests of all parties, and the Yemeni people.

Only peace will solve the humanitarian crisis. Despite the truce’s tangible benefits to Yemeni civilians, rising global commodity prices and a dearth of humanitarian funding has meant continued suffering for Yemenis. World Food Programme analysis in June showed some of the highest levels of inadequate food consumption ever recorded in Yemen. This cycle, shortage of funding will lead to 3 million fewer Yemenis receiving the rations they need. The funding deficit is undermining the humanitarian response and, without further disbursement of funds from donors, the crisis will only deepen and undermine the benefits of the truce. And, indeed, without humanitarian access, no amount of funding can serve those in need. The people of Yemen deserve to live peacefully, without the looming threat of famine.

While we welcome the progress associated with the truce, the threat of a spill from the FSO SAFER continues to loom over Yemen and the region. Action must be immediate, as non-intervention will result in environmental and humanitarian catastrophe. The UK was pleased to announce on July 18th a further £2 million pledge to the UN operation, but we urge colleagues to urgently bridge the £20 million gap and commit funding immediately before it is too late.

Thank you.

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