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The UK must stop issuing licenses to companies selling weapons to Saudi Arabia

Written by Tearfund | 24 Jul 2020

The UK Government has decided to resume granting new licenses for companies in the UK to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia. This could have devastating consequences for the people of Yemen. Please join us in prayer that this decision will be reversed.

The UK government was prevented from granting any new export licenses for sales of weapons to Saudi Arabia in 2019, after the UK Court of Appeal judged it unlawful. There was evidence brought to court that showed civilians in Yemen were being targeted using these weapons.

Two weeks ago, the UK Government decided it would start issuing new weapons export licenses for trade with Saudi Arabia. Tearfund is concerned that these could be used in the Yemen conflict.

Why this will be deadly for Yemen
The people of Yemen have already suffered more than five years of brutal conflict. The country is on the brink of famine. Tragically, over 85,000 children have already died from hunger or disease since 2015. More than 80 per cent of the population require humanitarian assistance to survive.

And now coronavirus has hit. Conflict has shattered the country’s health system, leaving it incapable of coping with a pandemic. Many hospitals and health centres have been destroyed or damaged through the conflict. Only half of them are thought to be fully functioning.

Yemen cannot wait any longer for this disastrous conflict to be brought to an end. Stopping the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia is a vital step in ending the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

What is Tearfund doing?
Tearfund is speaking with MPs across all political parties to urge them to persuade the government to reverse their decision. We have put together briefings for MPs so they can see the catastrophic impact their decision will have, and why they must urgently intervene.

In Yemen, through our local partners, we have been helping people by distributing food, seeds and tools to enable people to grow their own vegetables. We are also protecting people from diseases, such as cholera, by providing safe water.

And since the coronavirus pandemic hit, our partners have continued to support communities, including sharing with them preventative measures they can take to keep their families safe.

What can you do?
The people of Yemen urgently need your prayers. Please join us in crying out to God today.

  • Pray for the UK Government to reverse its decision and stop sales of weapons to Saudi Arabia.
  • Pray for peace for Yemen. Pray that all parties involved in the fighting will agree to a ceasefire.
  • Lift up the people of Yemen and ask God to comfort them and protect them from disease, illness and conflict. And pray a blessing over their future – that it will be free from poverty, hunger and conflict.

As well as praying, if you'd also like to write to your MP about this, you can use this sample letter, but it will have more impact if you personalise it. You can find your MP here.

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Written by  Tearfund

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