Britain sells arms to Saudi Arabia – then gives aid to its targets in Yemen

Britain sells arms to Saudi Arabia – then gives aid to its targets in Yemen

- in All News
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Yahir’s trauma is too much.

His father tries to comfort him but his tears don’t stop.

An airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition has left shrapnel embedded in his head. In the next hospital room Mohammed stands looking dazed at his injured family. Two of his children were killed in the attack which destroyed two houses.

Civilians continue to pay a high price as Yemen’s war enters it’s third year.

10,000
people who have died in the two-year war in Yemen – 5,000 of those are civilians
4th
largest aid donor to Yemen is Britain
£100m
amount UK gave to Yemen last year

As we drive across the country the human cost of this war is clear. At least 5,000 civilians have been killed – the majority of them by airstrikes from the Saudi-led campaign.

The anger of those who blame nations like the UK for arming and supporting Saudi Arabia is never far away.

On the road to Hajjah a group of men come to talk to us as we’re filming. One says he was a pharmacist but the war means he now has no job and no future. I ask him what he thinks of countries like Britain which last year sold £3.3 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia.

“We are very angry at countries that help the Saudis because a lot of people are dying in this war,” he says.

Zahir
Baby Zahir weighs half of what he should do Credit: ITV News

In a remote clinic, Zahir lies weakened from hunger. The nine-month-old weighs half of what he should do. Another casualty of a war which has bred the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

The doctors treating him say the blockade of Yemen claims lives. “If medicines don’t reach children like Zahir then they will die,” says Dr. Ahmed Ali.

Some Aid does get into Yemen – including from Britain. But it has to overcome bombed bridges and roads which have been targeted by weapons sold by countries like Britain.

The UK is Yemen’s fourth largest donor. Last year the British government gave £112 million in aid. But critics ask where’s the consistency in selling arms to Saudi Arabia while giving aid to Yemen.

In the cattle shed he calls home Abdul cradles his son Mahab. He tells me severe malnutrition means the two-and-a-half-year-old is now too weak to walk.

The future of a generation born into this war is being cruelly stolen.

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