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Statement on UK-Saudi arms deal


While we welcome the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary’s efforts in raising the issue of humanitarian access in Yemen with the Saudi Crown Prince during his visit to London, Save the Children remains deeply concerned about the news that Britain plans to sell 48 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia.

Britain has both moral and legal obligations to use its close relationship with Saudi Arabia to ensure that weapons aren’t being used indiscriminately, killing and maiming children. What guarantees does the UK have that the Typhoon fighters sold by BAE will not be used as part of an aerial campaign that has already struck 800 schools in Yemen? How does the UK justify selling more weapons to a country that has been listed on the UN’s “list of shame” for grave violations against children?

Save the Children operates across battle lines in Yemen and we have seen first-hand how it has become the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis with 11 million children dependent on humanitarian aid. Children are dying every day from disease, hunger and conflict. The only solution is a political one and we call for an immediate ceasefire and full, unimpeded access for humanitarian and commercial supplies ahead of a possible negotiated peace deal.  

Earlier this week Save the Children unveiled a temporary life-size statue of a child outside Parliament. The bronze-like statue is a reminder of the dangers that Yemeni children face every day and the risks of British-made bombs fuelling the violence.

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