IOM, UNHCR Joint Statement on Yemen Crisis

Posted: 
03/08/16
Themes: 
Humanitarian Emergencies

Yemen - IOM and UNHCR have expressed growing concern about the nearly one-year-old conflict in Yemen, which has left 2.4 million people forcibly displaced by fighting.

IOM and UNHCR teams in the country, many of them in hard-to-reach areas, report increasingly dire humanitarian and socio-economic conditions. With no political settlement in sight, the situation is likely to get worse.

According to the latest report of a special task force on population movement, jointly led by UNHCR and IOM, some 2,430,178 people have been internally displaced in Yemen since the crisis erupted in late March 2015.

Although down slightly from the 2.5 million reported by the last report of the task force published in December, the number remains staggeringly high and is a cause for grave concern. The figures also mask the human face of the conflict and the continued suffering of the population.

We implore all sides to allow humanitarian access to the areas hardest hit by the fighting, where most of the displaced are located.

Last month we demonstrated that this can be done, when aid was successfully delivered to Taizz, one of Yemen’s worst affected districts.

UNHCR and IOM believe it is crucial to keep humanitarian access open for deliveries of food and other essential services.

The latest report shows increased levels of displacement in areas where the conflict has escalated, notably in the five governorates of Taizz, Hajjah, Sana’a, Amran, and Sa’ada, which together account for 68 percent of all internally displaced people (IDPs) in Yemen.

Taizz, which includes areas that have been under siege for several months, has the largest number of IDPs (555,048), followed by Hajjah (353,219), Sana’a (253,962), Amran (245,689) and Sa’ada (237,978). Sa’ada, Sana’a and Amran have the highest displaced people-to-host-community ratios; 33 percent, 21 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

Sa’ada, which has been hit by frequent airstrikes, has suffered a significant drop in population in the past year. About two thirds (69 percent) of its pre-war population have left.   

The report, based on data through January 31, highlights the continuing human suffering of those forced to flee their homes in a desperate search for safety, often without possessions. Most seek shelter with relatives and friends, in schools, public or abandoned buildings, makeshift shelters – or out in the open, with little or no protection.

Despite the severely restricted humanitarian access and security constraints, aid agencies have delivered relief items and emergency shelter to over 740,000 IDPs. Around 1.6 million IDPs and other people affected by the conflict have received regular emergency food assistance; some 5 million people have been provided with water and sanitation services; and another 3.6 million with primary and specialized health care.

The Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan, launched in Geneva last month, seeks USD 1.8 billion for over 100 humanitarian partners to provide critical and life-saving assistance to 13.6 million people in need. It is currently just 2 percent funded, having received around USD 42 million and USD 10 million worth of pledges.

The report is available at: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Protection%20Cl....

For further information, please contact IOM HQ. Leonard Doyle, Tel: +41-792857123, Email: ldoyle@iom.int  or Joel Millman, Tel: + 41 79 103 87 20, Email: jmillman@iom.int

Ethiopian migrants evacuated to Djibouti by IOM to escape the conflict in Yemen. Photo: IOM