Djibouti: Yemeni Refugees Emergency Plan of Action Operation update n° 1 (MDRDJ002)

Request to extend timeframe by two months (New end date: 30 September 2015); and an additional allocation of CHF 94,448 (Total allocation: CHF 160,628) to enable the continuation of assistance to people upon arrival in Djibouti from Yemen, as well as revision of activities planned following the completion of a detailed needs assessment. An additional 1,800 people are expected to be reached through this DREF operation (Total: 3,800 people).

A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster

From 26 March 2015, there was an escalation in fighting between opposition groups in Yemen that affected an estimated 833,519 people, including 244,000 registered refugees. As of 27 May 2015, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that 545,719 people had been displaced, and 37,800 persons had fled. As of 20 June 2015, UNOCHA reported that 21 million Yemenis were in need (approximately 80 per cent of the country). Yemen faces collapse of basic services including no access to clean drinking water, health care, sanitation facilities, or fuel. With no open passage to bring goods into Yemen, market prices are increasing creating hardship on the Yemen population. Negotiations for a ceasefire occurred in Geneva however on 20 June 2015, the United Nations (UN) reported that talks of ceasefire collapsed with both parties still remaining very far apart from a resolution or ceasefire.

As Yemen is known on the migration trail, a wide range of nationalities have been affected by this crisis (American, Chinese, Djiboutian, Kenyan, Indian, Somalian, Tanzanian and Yemeni nationals). On 29 May 2015, information reported listed Djibouti as the country receiving the highest amount of population at 13,000 of the persons who had fled.

First Arrivals: On 31 March 2015, the first arrival occurred of 54 persons from Yemen to Khor-Angar in the north of Djibouti occurred (18 Djiboutian and 36 Yemenis). By 24 April 2015, this number had reached upwards of 879 (UNHCR), with more and more people arriving daily. It has been reported that people are arriving from Aden, BABAl-mandab, Mayoun, and coastal areas of Yemen; using commercial boats or private fishermen boats to travel to Djibouti (Djibouti port, Khor-Angar port, Obock port and others).

Arrivals during the month of May and June 2015: During May 2015, boats continued to arrive to Djibouti on an irregular, but nearly daily basis bringing anywhere from 100 to 350 persons primarily of Yemeni, Djiboutian, Eritrean Somalian and American nationalities. From May 12-16 2015, a ceasefire occurred and the number of persons claiming asylum in Djibouti during this time increased. Increases were also seen following 27 May 2015, a day classified as the deadliest day in Yemen (55 dead and 100 injured). Between 27 May 2015 and 1 June 2015,

UNHCR reported 144 persons arrived to claim asylum resulting in 1,744 refugees. On 28 May 2015, peace talks slated were postponed and resumed mid-June 2015. The outcome during these talks was not positive and no resolution was agreed upon. The fighting continues with no resolution or end to the conflict in sight. “Table 1: Number of new arrivals at Djibouti port for the month of June (source: DRCS volunteers)” below outlines the statistics of arrivals from Yemen in June 2015, collected informally by Djibouti Red Crescent (DRCS) volunteers meeting boats arriving in the country and providing first aid and restoring family links services. Reports by Djibouti government, media and port authorities have indicated between 10,000-15,000 arrivals since fighting began on 29 March 2015. DRCS has not yet been able to obtain an official list of arrivals from the port authorities.