Internal Displacement Spikes in Yemen
Yemen - One year into the conflict, internal displacement in Yemen is still rising, according to the 8th and most recent report of a special Task Force on Population Movement (TFPM), a technical working group of the Yemen Protection Cluster.
The Cluster, which is led jointly by IOM and UNHCR, counts some 2,755,916 people who now have been internally displaced in Yemen since the crisis erupted in late March 2015. This figure represents a significant increase of 325,738 from the previously reported figure of 2.4 million IDPs in March 2016.
An increase in the number of IDPs was reported in 13 governorates; Taizz, Shabwah, Sanaa, Sa’ada, Marib, Lahj, Ibb, Hajjah, Amran, Amanat Al Asimah, Al Maharah, Al Hudaydah, and Al Dhale’e.
“I would like to underscore the importance of the upcoming cessation of hostilities, expected to begin on 10th April, and implore all sides of the conflict to allow humanitarian access to the hardest hit areas, where most of the displaced are located,” said Chissey Mueller, IOM Representative ad interim in Yemen.
This message was echoed by the UNHCR Representative, Johannes Van Der Klaauw, who added: “I hope that the upcoming cessation of hostilities will create a humanitarian space to address the needs of IDPs and an environment conductive to safe and sustainable return.”
The TFPM reports that 66 percent of the identified IDP population has sought refuge in Taizz (620,934 individuals), where the needs of both the IDP and host community populations are becoming increasingly desperate. Large IDP populations are also found in Hajjah (367,007), Amran (295,620), Sana’a (272,589).
Sa’ada governorate is hosting 245,897 IDPs, while over a third of its own population have fled to other areas. As a result over a third of people remaining in Sa’ada have suffered displacement.
While displacement continues to increase in the northern areas of Yemen, the IDP figure in some southern areas has been stabilized and 472,338 returnees were identified. IOM and UNHCR confirm 68 percent of the returnee population has been identified in Aden (300,912).
The report, based on data ending March 31, shows that most displaced families have sought refuge with relatives and friends, although some have found shelter in collective centers or spontaneous sites, including public buildings and schools. Some people are living in the open.