Silence the guns

Only when the gunfire stops can life-saving help get through

Ongoing daily fighting in conflict affected countries Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Central African Republic and South Sudan is making it too dangerous for humanitarian relief to reach the millions of people who need it.

What’s more, while gunfire continues, not only is it impossible for essential food, fuel and medical supplies to get through but the coronavirus is spreading without even the basics like soap and water to stop it.

Please sign our petition to urge the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, to help the millions of people affected by fighting in their countries by:

  • Pushing for immediate and permanent ceasefires.
  • Taking global leadership to convene and push for sustainable peace.
  • Ensuring the UK’s fair share of humanitarian funding reaches those that need it most.
  • The UK must stop selling arms that fuel conflict.
Arish district in the southeast of Aden, where many houses were destroyed by aerial bombardments. This area was the scene of intense fighting between the two sides to the conflict due to its strategic location at one of the entry points to the city. Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam
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Why is a ceasefire important?

The violence has damaged homes, destroyed hospitals, and made it even harder to get hold of food and medication. The UK Government must push for immediate ceasefires and sustainable peace, always ensuring women are at the heart of any negotiations, so that vital humanitarian assistance can be delivered.

The UK’s foreign policy has too often proven dangerous and incoherent – on the one hand signing a UN Security Council resolution calling for a global ceasefire, while on the other selling arms to countries that fuel conflicts, such as in Yemen.

Before the pandemic, two billion people were already living in fragile and conflict-affected states. 70 million of them have been forced to leave their homes and, for some, even their families and start over somewhere else. Many millions are in refugee camps.

It is often impossible to social distance in the cramped living spaces of refugee camps making the spread of coronavirus dangerously high. Essential supplies of soap and clean water are scarce, many are sharing one tap between up to 250 people with less than 3.5 square metres of living space per person – smaller than the average UK bathroom.

The coronavirus pandemic deepens current challenges for many in conflict zones, meaning that women and men are now dodging bullets and disease - And women are facing increased risks of violence at home.

It’s time that people in countries like Yemen see a future without war and feel safe to start a journey towards an inclusive and locally-led peace.