Netherlands Backs IOM Aid to Stranded Migrants in Yemen
The Netherlands has contributed US$ 2.1 million towards IOM's efforts to help vulnerable migrants from the Horn of Africa stranded in Yemen en route to Saudi Arabia.
The contribution, the largest by the Netherlands for IOM activities in the Middle East, will be used to provide humanitarian aid to thousands of stranded migrants in Yemen, who often suffer terrible conditions and abuse on their journey to find jobs and security in the Gulf States.
The agreement was signed at IOM Headquarters by IOM Director General William Lacy Swing and Dutch Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Roderick van Schreven. It was witnessed by the Yemeni Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Ibrahim Saied Mohamed Al-Adoofi.
Ongoing instability, building on the political turmoil of 2011, has precipitated the humanitarian situation in Yemen with drastically diminished service delivery, worrying malnutrition levels, and continued insecurity.
But irregular migrant flows from the Horn of Africa continue unabated, through unscrupulous and increasingly vicious trafficking networks. At least 4,000 migrants remain stranded at the Saudi border near the town of Haradh.
IOM established a migrant response centre and a clinic in Haradh, providing essential health assistance to the injured and abused, as well as one meal per day to the most vulnerable. Until March 2012, IOM was also able to provide emergency voluntary return assistance, helping some 7,000 Ethiopians to return home from Haradh.
The Dutch funding is the first contribution towards the stranded migrant assistance component of the 2012 Yemen Humanitarian Appeal. IOM has been operating migrant assistance and humanitarian interventions in Yemen since 2007.
These include assistance to displaced families and conflict-affected communities in the marginalized governorate of Al Jawf and the restive southern governorate of Abyan, where, since June 2011, IOM has been providing life-saving support, including emergency water and sanitation infrastructure, essential shelter, and mobile health services to families displaced by the violent conflict between Government of Yemen forces and Al-Qaida linked militants.
IOM's emergency interventions have been critical in pre-empting further displacement from the governorate to neighbouring Aden, which has struggled to accommodate the rapid influx of families fleeing conflict.
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