IOM Condemns Wednesday Attack at Migrant Response Point in Hodeidah, Yemen

Humanitarian Emergencies

Yemen - On 9 March 2016, at 3:00 PM, an armed group stormed the IOM Migrant Response Point (MRP) in Hodeidah, Yemen and fired automatic weapons inside the premises.  The assault resulted in the death of a 16-year-old unaccompanied migrant.

More than 70 vulnerable migrants and 17 members of the IOM staff were inside the MRP at the time of the forced entry. One bullet hit a pre-fabricated metal container used by the IOM Protection team to register migrants.  The bullet pierced the container's wall, fatally wounding the 16-year-old who had hidden inside. The boy died at the scene; IOM's medical team coordinated the transport of his body to the nearest hospital.

IOM is shocked and appalled by this brutal attack and is working closely with the local law enforcement so that a thorough investigation will be conducted.

This is a very sad day for IOM and the Organization would like to praise the staff working at IOM MRP for their determination to help the migrants and their commitment to continue despite this unprovoked armed attack.  IOM urges all parties in Yemen to respect the integrity of civilian and humanitarian facilities in accordance with Yemen's laws and International Humanitarian Law.

In the last two months, IOM has assisted more than 1,000 stranded and destitute migrants, mainly at the Migrant Response Point in Hodeidah, with medical care, non-food items, and temporary shelter for the most vulnerable cases.  Despite the challenges posed by conflict context in 2015, IOM has assisted over 13,000 vulnerable and stranded migrants in Yemen.

Having suffered a series of human rights violations during their journey to and through Yemen, migrants routinely come to IOM's MRPs in Aden and Hodeidah in desperate need of life-saving assistance. IOM’s migrant assistance and protection operations are supported by the DFID, ECHO, US Department of State, Sida, UN-CERF, and USAIM.

These days, IOM and government partners in Yemen and throughout the region are working earnestly to resume evacuation operations, which in 2015 benefited 4,222 migrants.  The operational evacuation plan for 2016 starting this month – during its initial phase – aims to evacuate 1,250 stranded migrants in Hodeidah who have requested this specific support. 

According to IOM estimates, there are several thousand more stranded migrants who seek a way home and escape from Yemen's conflict. IOM expects to operate both sea and air evacuations in the coming months for 6,900 migrants.

For further information please contact Chissey Mueller, IOM Yemen. Mobile: +967.737.501.683  Email:

IOM activities in Yemen