Dame Vivienne is at it again, using her formidable skills in aid of a key NGO. This time, that organisation is War Child UK, hard-working charity for children affected by conflict, to support its plea to the UK Government to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia while the conflict in Yemen rages.
It’s a war that has fallen into the background in the face of Syria, of Trump, of climate change. Just a reminder: more than 8,600 people have been killed and 49,000 injured since the conflict between the Saudi-led coalition and rebels in Yemen escalated in 2015. Starvation is rife; seventeen million people are food-insecure and there are concerns that famine will be officially declared imminently.
As ever, it is children – the little people who would rather do pretty much anything than wield arms – who have been most affected. Of the estimated 2.9 million displaced people in Yemen, 1.8 million children in urgent need of treatment for malnutrition.
War Child is working, right now, this minute, in Yemen, helping vulnerable children and their families affected by the conflict. Its #StopArmingSaudi campaign urges the UK Government to use its alliance with Saudi Arabia to demand compliance with international humanitarian law and withdraw from arms sales to the nation.
Westwood’s t-shirt is a rage-fuelled scrawl that lays bare both the suffering of Yemeni children and the big bucks driving the UK governments to continue selling arms to warring nations – at bitter cost to human lives.
“Stop war, support War Child UK,” says Westwood. “130 children are dying in Yemen every day. There are other ways to run an economy than profit from death.”
“Every day, War Child sees the impact war has on children,’ adds War Child CEO Rob Williams. “It blights lives, damages childhoods and leaves lifelong scars. Thousands of Yemeni children have died, millions more are at risk and the British government is shamefully complicit in their suffering.
“We urge the UK government to reverse its role in fuelling this devastating war and suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia.”
Concerned supporters stepped up to model the t-shirt including actor Simon Pegg, comedian Dara Ó Briain, singer Melanie C, Jack Savoretti, Frank Turner, and Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas. This Christmas, join them.