Yemen Conflict Leaves Over Two Million Internally Displaced

Yemen - Amid the volatile political and security situation in Yemen, two out of three internally displaced persons (IDPs) have lived in dire conditions for ten months or more and their prospects of returning home remain remote.

According to the 9th report of the Task Force on Population Movement (TFPM), a technical working group of the Yemen Protection Cluster jointly led by UNHCR and IOM, there are currently 2,818,072 people affected by displacement in Yemen due to the ongoing conflict. Of these, 2,053,093 remain displaced, while 764,979 have returned to their areas of origin, but have not yet fully re-integrated into their community.

The report includes data and trends identified by IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) and UNHCR’s Population Movement Tracking (PMT) systems, which ensure direct and consistent data collection throughout the country. The methodology has progressively been refined and now allows the TFPM to provide increasingly realistic estimates of displaced populations and their circumstances to date.

The TFPM reports that 25.3 percent of the identified IDP population has sought refuge in Taizz (518,448 individuals), followed by Hajjah (364,395 individuals), Sana’a (158,126 individuals), Sa’ada (145,614 individuals) and the capital region of Amanat Al Aimah (137,302 individuals).  These five governorates host two thirds of the total conflict-affected IDP population. These are also the five governorates from which 85 percent of the total IDP population originated.

The report goes on to highlight the continuing human suffering of the people displaced by the conflict. Food is identified as the primary concern of IDPs, followed by access to drinking water and shelter. Four out of five IDPs have found shelter with relatives and friends or in rented properties.  However, 17 percent of the IDPs (349,026 individuals) live in collective centers or spontaneous settings, such as schools, public and abandoned buildings, makeshift shelters or in open areas with little to no protection from the elements.

IOM Yemen Chief of Mission Laurent De Boeck noted: “IDP families who have sought shelter as a last resort in collective centers and spontaneous settings are much more likely to be exposed to health risks and environmental hazards. It is therefore imperative for the humanitarian community to continue to address their needs, while also working to alleviate the pressures on host communities associated with IDPs seeking shelter in collective centers, particularly schools.”

“For the first time the humanitarian community can now avail itself of a national picture of displacement at the village or neighborhood level, which is essential to prioritize and provide targeted humanitarian assistance in light of the staggering needs,” said Johannes van der Klaauw, UNHCR Representative for Yemen.

As a result of the reduction in hostilities, the report also points to a growing returnee population largely concentrated within five governorates, Aden, Amanat Al Asimah, Lahj, Taizz and Hajjah. Most returnees are still in need of assistance to rebuild their lives; the primary needs of returnees remain largely consistent with the needs of the IDP population. Food, livelihood opportunities and shelter support are all needed to ensure their sustainable integration.

The report also presents displacement figures associated with natural disasters – two cyclones in November 2015 and flash floods in April 2016. Some 27,024 individuals remain displaced across 12 governorates as a result of the disasters, while 33,793 returnees have been identified across eight governorates.

The TFPM aims to continue its efforts to improve its data collection methodology and secure funding to expand its outreach.

The report is available at:

For further information, please contact Duncan Sullivan at IOM Yemen. Tel. +962 (0) 796145044, Email: