Yemen: MEP Demetris Papadakis (S&D) issued a parliamentary question on the starvation case of 85000 Yemenite children

On the 7th of January 2019, MEP Demetris Papadakis (S&D) addressed the issue to the starvation case of 85000 children under the age of five who probably died from acute malnutrition during the current war in Yemen.

On the 7th of January 2019, MEP Demetris Papadakis (S&D) issued a parliamentary question to the EU Commission and to VP/HR Federica Mogherini for the starvation of infants and underaged in Yemen, a conflict which has been devastating the country over the last three years. MEP Papadakis drew the attention on the endangered struggling situation of the Yemenite civil society, which is facing a major lack of access to basic needs. By mentioning UN data, MEP Papadakis highlights that: “up to 14 million Yemenis are currently threatened with famine. Rising food prices, combined with the depreciation of the national currency as a result of the civil war, have exposed an increasing number of families to the risk of food shortages”

Considering these observations, MEP Demetris Papadakis asked the following two questions:

What is the Commission doing to support the efforts of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen to initiate peace talks between the warring parties?

What steps will it take to put an end to one of the most devastating humanitarian tragedies of our time and impose an embargo on the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia?

In a reply to Mr. Papadakis, the VP/HR Federica Mogherini, on behalf of the European Commission, answered with the following statement: “In line with the Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions of 25 June 2018 the EU continues to actively support the efforts of the United Nations (UN) Special Envoy to Yemen closely coordinating with his office while lending concrete assistance […] to implement the agreements reached in Stockholm between the parties”. Furthermore, she stated that the EU is exploring with the Envoy’s office further ways to support the UN-led process and the implementation of the upper-mentioned Stockholm Agreement with stabilisation initiatives and confidence-building measures. Moreover, VP/HR Federica Mogherini highlighted that in the June Council Conclusions the EU renewed its call for the full implementation of the targeted arms embargo imposed by the UN Security Council and reiterated the strict application of the rules set in the Common Position 2008/944 on arms exports.

The European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR) welcomes the question of MEP Demetris Papadakis (S&D) and the answer of the VP/HR Federica Mogherini. We share concerns over the ongoing humanitarian issues in Yemen and the unresolved case of inadequate proper living conditions for Yemenite civil society. ECDHR calls upon the VP/HR Federica Mogherini and the EU Commission to progress and maintain the level of negotiations and calls for the full implementation of the targeted arms embargo. Lastly, ECDHR calls upon the UN to continue the sanction measures and their strict application on arms exports.

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Please find below a full copy of the question of MEP Demetris Papadakis (S&D).

Question for written answer to the Council, submitted by MEP Demetris Papadakis (S&D) on January 7, 2019

According to Save the Children, around 85 000 children under the age of five have probably died from acute malnutrition during the war in Yemen, which has lasted for over three years. The organisation goes on to point out that this is more or less equal to the total number of under-fives in Birmingham, the second largest city in the United Kingdom.

Furthermore, the UN warned that up to 14 million Yemenis are currently threatened with famine. Rising food prices, combined with the depreciation of the national currency as a result of the civil war, have exposed an increasing number of families to the risk of food shortages.

According to studies, if the problem of acute malnutrition is not addressed, it will claim the lives of around 23%-30% of children each year.

In view of this:

What is the Commission doing to support the efforts of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen to initiate peace talks between the warring parties?

What steps will it take to put an end to one of the most devastating humanitarian tragedies of our time and impose an embargo on the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia?

Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the European Commission on February 14, 2019.

In line with the Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions of 25 June 2018 the EU continues to actively support the efforts of the United Nations (UN) Special Envoy to Yemen closely coordinating with his office while lending concrete assistance – notably through financial support to the UN Verification and Monitoring Mechanism – to implement the agreements reached in Stockholm between the parties. Moreover, the EU is exploring with the Envoy’s office further ways to support the UN-led process and the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement with stabilisation initiatives and confidence-building measures.

In the June Council Conclusions the EU renewed its call for the full implementation of the targeted arms embargo imposed by the UN Security Council and reiterated the strict application of the rules set in the Common Position 2008/944 on arms exports.

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