International Development Secretary Priti Patel announced Britain will send an additional £37 million (US$48 million) in aid to Yemen this year, bringing the total package to £100 million.
It comes as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson faces calls from two senior MPs to support an independent investigation into whether war crimes have been committed in the Yemen conflict.
Johnson has refused to block UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the government has rejected calls for a vote in Parliament on the matter.
The foreign secretary maintains there is no evidence international law has been violated in the Yemen conflict, where Saudi Arabia has led a coalition of nations fighting Houthi rebels since March last year.
Comment: No evidence?! How about this for starters as evidence:
- 20 civilians including children killed in Saudi airstrikes in Yemen
- Saudis bombed a water well in "double tap" airstrike in Yemen, killing dozens including children and first responders
- Fruits of Western imperialism: Images of starving children show the horrors of US/Saudi war against Yemen
- Saudi head-choppers kill at least 21 civilians bombing Yemen
Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, Patel said: "People are suffering. There's no water or clean sanitation, there is a public health crisis, children are dying, there is a need for food and shelter."
She added that 19 million people lack access to water or sanitation, while 80 percent of the population are in need of humanitarian assistance.
The gesture was quickly criticized by Shadow International Development Secretary Kate Osamor, who said Britain's arms sales to Saudi Arabia "negate" development work in the region.
She called on the government to suspend arms sales to Riyadh until a full investigation has been carried out.
Chris White, chairman of the Committees on Arms Export Controls, and International Development Committee Chair Stephen Twigg expressed hope an inquiry will "deter future violations of international humanitarian law as well as providing independent and conclusive evidence in relation to allegations that have been leveled at both sides of the conflict."
The MPs say an inquiry is needed because of the staggering death toll in the conflict. Some 7,000 people are thought to have died, 1,100 of them children.
Comment: The US is also helping the Saudis: Human rights be damned: US Senate green lights $1.15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia