The United Kingdom is being criticized for cutting the amount of aid it gives to Yemen. The UK's foreign office said it would cut the amount of humanitarian aid to Yemen by more than 50 per cent. However, just three weeks ago, foreign office minister James Cleverly said Yemen would remain a "UK priority country". He said his government would use all of its efforts to bring peace. Yemen is one of the world's least developed countries. The United Nations reports that Yemen is the country with the most people in need of humanitarian aid. There are about 24 million people in need of help. This is about 85 per cent of its population. It ranks second worst in the Global Hunger Index.
There could be a catastrophic humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Millions of people are struggling to find food to eat. There is now the threat of a famine that would deepen the crisis. The civil war has left hospitals in ruins. Jan Egeland from the Norwegian Refugee Council said: "We are seeing a relentless countdown to a possible famine that the world hasn't seen since Ethiopia in the 1980s." The United Nations said: "More than 50,000 Yemenis are already starving to death and 16 million will go hungry this year." It added that the UK cut in aid from $280 million last year to $120 million this year would be "tragic". The UK's Guardian newspaper said: "Yemenis aren't starving, they are being starved."