IOM Assists Newly Arrived Migrants Along Yemen’s Southern Coast

Posted: 
05/27/16
Themes: 
Humanitarian Emergencies

Yemen - IOM has assisted more than 1,500 migrants who arrived along the southern coast of Lahj, Yemen in recent weeks (22 March to 17 May 2016.)   

Yemen’s coast has always been a popular landing point for migrants, asylum seekers and refugees from the Horn of Africa.  According to UN estimates, for the first four months of 2016, almost 40,000 new arrivals crossed the sea to Yemen, seeking protection or a better socioeconomic situation.

When the conflict in Yemen forced IOM to suspend its coastal activities during much of 2015, it was noted at a recent Mixed Migration Working Group meeting in Aden that the large number of migrants arriving along the southern coast needed medical assistance. 

In response, IOM coordinated with its local partners and Yemeni authorities and on 22 March, an IOM mobile ambulance team resumed daily patrols along the coastal road from Aden city to Khor Omeira, Lahj Governorate.

The IOM mobile team – a doctor, a nurse, a translator, and protection staff – have started assisting more than 1,500 newly arrived migrants. Almost half of them received urgent medical assistance (including hospital admittance), while all of them received information about the current situation prevailing in Yemen.

“IOM Yemen is committed to closely work with its national and international partners to offer assistance to the numerous migrants, asylum seekers and refugees searching for better conditions in Yemen,” said Laurent de Boeck, the IOM Chief of Mission in Yemen.

He added: “It is only through active coordination and partnership that we will be able to identify a long-term positive solution to desperate migrants. A dialogue with countries of origin is essential to identify joint responses to the massive influx of migrants to Yemen.”

Since the mobile ambulance team resumed the daily patrolling, IOM has ascertained that 36 boats have landed along the Lahj coast between Ras Alarah and Al Swaidah.  The migrants – mostly Ethiopian men – had transited through the Port of Obock and Hayu in Djibouti and were headed to Aden, Yemen.  A few of the new arrivals were headed to the refugee camp in Lahj.

Given the overall poor health conditions of the new arrivals, in the coming weeks IOM will provide drinking water, food, and hygiene or dignity kits.  Should the flows to Yemen continue at the same pace and security permitting, IOM expects to assist several more thousands of migrants who will arrive along Lahj’s coastal road in 2016.  

In the coming weeks, IOM also plans more capacity building activities with the government to better address Yemen’s complex migration flows.  Plans are underway for more trainings and the resumption of the national Mixed Migration Task Force, which is co-chaired by UNHCR and IOM in Sana’a.  

IOM Yemen’s migrant assistance and protection activities are funded and supported by the UK Department for International Development, European Union, US Department of State, Swedish International Development Agency and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund.

*Table below shows the numbers of new arrivals seen by IOM during last three months with numbers of those who received medical assistance during the same period (from 22nd of March to 17th of May 2016) in Aden and Lahj governorates, Yemen.

Months

Number of new arrivals encountered by IOM

Number of medical cases assisted by IOM

Referred cases

Minors

Adult

T

Total

Minors

Adult

T

Total

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

Mar-16

62

6

161

8

223

14

237

31

3

76

3

107

6

113

1

Apr-16

241

1

596

7

837

8

845

100

2

240

3

340

5

345

1

May-16

118

1

380

3

498

4

502

62

1

204

3

266

4

270

1

Total

1584

 

728

3

 

For further information, please contact Saba Malme at IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email: smalme@iom.int

 

An IOM medical team checks newly arrived migrants. Photo: IOM 2016