UNHCR Regional Update - Yemen Situation #38 (April 2016)
- 3,201,633 People affected by the conflict (in Yemen and adjacent countries), including refugees and internally displaced persons prior to and as a result of the current conflict.
- 2,755,916 Persons internally displaced prior to and as a result of the current conflict.
- 177,620 Arrivals to Djibouti, Ethiopia Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and Sudan mainly by sea or overland since late March 2015.
- 268,097 Refugees in Yemen assisted with protection assistance and life sustaining interventions and items.
- 457,224 Internally displaced Yemenis reached in Yemen with emergency relief items since the onset of the crisis by UNHCR and partners.
USD 172.2 Million Requested by UNHCR for the situation
- From 10 to 13 April 2016, UNDSS and UNHCR conducted a security assessment in Aden. In mid-April 2016, floods and landslides affected over 49,000 individuals across Yemen, damaging houses, crops and vital infrastructure. UNHCR coordinated the shelter and relief items response for nearly 15,000 persons.
- Almost 830 Yemeni refugees, originating mainly from Bab Al Mandab, spontaneously returned from Obock (Djibouti) to Yemen as of the end of April 2016.
- The seventh relocation of Somali refugees from Jijiga to Melkadida camps was completed on 15 April 2016. A total of 672 Somali refugees have now been relocated.
- UNHCR monitors spontaneous returns of Yemenis from the port of Berbera and learned of 40 individuals who returned to Yemen on 23 March, despite unsafe conditions.
New Arrivals to Yemen
In April 2016, 11,245 people arrived in Yemen, representing an eight per cent increase compared to March 2016. Most of the new arrivals, about 9,300 individuals, occurred along the Arabian Sea coast. Ethiopians continue to represent the majority of new arrivals, 10,227 individuals, followed by 1,016 Somalis and two Djiboutian nationals. The 2016 yearly total of new arrivals so far is 39,962 persons, compared to 44,098 over the last four months of 2015.
Despite the high arrival figures, the sea journey remains dangerous. Five individuals drowned in deep water off the Yemeni coast in April (three in the Arabian Sea and two in the Red Sea). So far in 2016, 32 individuals went missing or have died at sea in Yemeni waters.
UPDATE ON ACHIEVEMENTS
The cessation of hostilities in Yemen took effect on 11 April 2016 and the UN-led peace talks began in Kuwait on 21 April following the delayed arrival of delegates representing the Houthis and former President Saleh. By late April, the talks’ most tangible result was the creation of a De-escalation and Coordination Committee and Local Committees to work on compliance with the cessation of hostilities, leading to improvements despite reported occasional clashes (e.g. in Al Jawf, Marib, Hajjah, Al Bayda and Taizz). On 25 April, a UN Security Council Presidential Statement supported the peace talks, urged all parties to comply fully with the truce and called on Yemeni parties to restore state institutions and political dialogue.
In mid-April, floods and landslides affected over 49,000 individuals across Yemen, damaging houses, crops, vital infrastructure and killing 24 persons. UNHCR coordinated the shelter and relief items response reaching about 15,000 persons.
Meanwhile, Coalition-affiliated forces continued an offensive against extremist elements in the southern governorates. Reportedly suffering many losses, Al-Qaeda militants left the port city of Mukalla on 24 April and moved west into Shabwah. Against this background, a UNDSS-UNHCR security assessment was conducted in Aden between 10 and 13 April. The aim was to ensure security mitigating measures at office premises in the UN enclave, at accommodations and mobile security support are in line with an effort to re-launch a scheme of short duration missions by international staff.
On 6 April 2016, UNHCR in Djibouti received a delegation of officials headed by Mr. Abdul Raqeb Saif Fateh, Chairman of the High Relief Committee (HRC) and Yemeni Minister of Local Administration. They were accompanied by the Executive Secretary of the Djiboutian Office national d’assistance aux réfugiés et sinistrés (ONARS). The mission aimed at visiting the camp facilities, discussing urgent needs and return options to Yemen with refugees.
According to immigration police in Obock, Djibouti, over 500 Yemeni nationals originating from Aden arrived in Djibouti from 11 to 24 April 2016. Rather than seeking asylum, they transited through Djibouti before travelling onwards to other countries. Moreover, some spontaneous returns of Yemeni refugees to Yemen continue to be observed. Almost 830 Yemeni refugees originating mainly from Bab Al Mandab spontaneously returned from Obock as of late April 2016. The conditions of return continue to be assessed as unsafe, both at the departure point because of rough seas and upon arrival in Yemen because of insecurity. In early April 2016, a few vessels were not allowed to leave Obock port by the Djiboutian coast guard. Refugees waited for two days before making the trip to Bab Al Mandab and Al Mokha in Yemen.