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Volume 526: debated on Wednesday 30 March 2011

12. What discussions he has had with his EU and UN counterparts on the development implications of the state of emergency in Yemen. (49672)

We are in close contact with EU and UN counterparts. Recent instability is limiting the ability of DFID and other donors to run development programmes in Yemen. DFID is continuing to support the social fund for development which helps low-income groups to secure basic services such as health, education and water. We are also supporting humanitarian contingency plans. We do not provide any money directly to the Government of Yemen.

I thank the Minister for his answer. As he knows, a state of emergency was declared in Yemen last week. As it remains one of the poorest countries on earth, it is essential that the excellent work that has been undertaken by the Government through the development programme continues. Can the Minister ensure that, subject to the security of people there, this work will continue?

We share the right hon. Gentleman’s objectives in trying to deliver assistance wherever we possibly can, which we are continuing to do through the social fund for development, which is not Government-run. We have, however, had to withdraw our DFID staff from Sana’a given the security situation, but we remain committed to doing everything we possibly can to help the people of Yemen once the security position and the political position become clearer and appropriate.