While I wholly applaud Cllr. Thomson’s views re welcoming refugees from Afghanistan (Isles should be ready to take part in Afghan resettlement scheme, councillor says; Shetland News, 18/8/21), I wonder why the same offers of help have not been made (as far as I am aware) to the people of Yemen.
Please correct me if I am wrong.
In response to the letter, Councillor Ryan Thomson said: “The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is one I have highlighted simply because we (the UK Government, among many other Govs in the West) have to accept our blame for what is happening in Afghanistan right now.
“It is one of ‘our’ own making. Of course, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is equally as mournful, with Yemen looking set to become the poorest country in the world by 2022, with the most people living in fuel poverty of any country in the world.
“The author is right to highlight the crisis which is ongoing there. Equally, the devastating impact of the Haiti earthquake, with the death toll now known to be more than 2,000 at the time of writing, with 500,000 children now known to have limited, or no access to shelter, safe water or food.
“There are crisis happening all over the world, and again the author is correct to highlight others. The UK Government have slashed their foreign aid budget by around £4bn per annum, at a time where these countries need it most.
“The UK Government have also just recently slashed Afghanistan’s foreign aid budget by 78 per cent, despite rather misleadingly announcing recently they are ‘doubling’ it. There are people desperately fleeing Afghanistan for their lives as we speak.
“There are images and videos of mothers throwing their children over barriers to safety before they get killed. This is an immediate crisis, and we need to act now, not sit back and accept 4,000 people per year over the next five years.
“This is not an acceptable position to maintain. We should be doing all we can to help the most desperate and impoverished people in the world, be that in Yemen, Afghanistan, Haiti or much closer to home.”