On 14th January 2019, Lord Ahmed tabled an Oral Question ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the humanitarian situation in Yemen.’ The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, as well as the huge famine—I congratulate Her Majesty’s Government on what they are doing to respond to it—we are also seeing unfold before our eyes a huge medical crisis, with possibly the largest cholera epidemic in recorded history. Will the Minister update us on what plans and action are being taken with our partners to bring in medical help urgently to try to address this unparalleled, Dickensian level of preventable disease?
Lord Bates: The right reverend Prelate is absolutely right that this is the largest cholera epidemic. Again, one small, cautious reason for hope is that, from its peak, that outbreak has begun to reduce due to heroic and selfless actions by humanitarian workers on the ground and by organisations such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF, funded in part by the United Kingdom.