28 October 2016 – Warning that the situation in Yemen is growing more dire every day, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the lead United Nations-affiliated agency on migration issues, launched today a regional appeal for nearly $150 million to help provide desperately needed assistance to the country’s people trapped amid the escalating conflict.
“The situation in Yemen continues to further deteriorate daily. Millions are internally displaced and desperately need food, clean water and medicines. Thousands of civilians have been killed or injured,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.
Indeed, the agency reported that the ongoing armed conflict has exacerbated an already precarious humanitarian situation, characterized by widespread poverty, waves of violence, human rights violations and open conflict, and recent escalation of the crisis only worsens the situation.
As such, nearly 82 per cent (21.2 million individuals) of the population in Yemen, including 2.2 million internally displaced people (IDPs), are in need of humanitarian assistance.
Mr. Swing urged the international community to provide the vital humanitarian assistance and end suffering of the millions of people who are caught up in the conflict. “I call upon all sides in this conflict and the international community to find a solution urgently to end this deadly conflict,” he added further.
Humanitarian aid supplies being unloaded at the port of Hodeidah, Yemen. Photo: UNICEF/Abdulkareem Alayyashi
According to UN, some 10,000 people have been killed over the more than 18 month of conflict deaths as a result of the ongoing conflict, in addition to the issue of internal displacement, with people using abandoned buildings and informal settlements for shelter.
Mr. Swing has underlined the necessity to allow humanitarian access to the hardest-hit areas, where most of the internally displaced are located.
The armed clashes have also affected some of the Yemen neighbours, such as Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somalia. Therefore, IOM’s revised regional appeal, for $149.96 million covers those countries and seeks to provide a range of humanitarian aid, including medical assistance, protection, water, sanitation, shelter, and livelihoods to the struggling regions.
In addition, the situation on the ground has been complicated by the fact that Yemen has remained a transit country for thousands of migrants in search of better economic opportunities in the Arabian Peninsula. Approximately 10,000 migrants enter Yemen irregularly each month, according to IOM data, only to find themselves trapped in the conflict, exploited, and abused by criminal networks.
Similar to the local population, migrants in Yemen are in need of humanitarian aid. IOM reports that migrants are predominantly men, women, and children escaping political instability, environmental degradation and limited economic prospects.
Djibouti has been at the centre of these migratory flows across the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, with most immigrants originating from Ethiopia and Somalia. Approximately 20 percent of the migrants are unaccompanied children, stated IOM, and the rest of them are mainly between the ages of 15 and 30.