UNHCR Yemen Factsheet - September 2012
Yemen is the only country in the Arabian Peninsula that is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol. UNHCR established its operations in Yemen in 1987 and in the south in 1992 in response to the large-scale influx of Somali refugees. Yemen is a country that faces major challenges with high number of refugees, internal displacement (IDPs) and mixed migration. Somalis arriving in the country are granted prima facie refugee status, while UNHCR conducts Refugee Status Determination (RSD) for other nationalities. UNHCR also coordinates on protection concerns and provides assistance to IDP populations in the north and south.
Impact of Humanitarian Crisis on Refugees and IDPs
Yemen remains in the midst of a complex emergency. Humanitarian needs continue to grow at an alarming rate with record-high levels of IDPs. Conflict in the north since 2004 has caused repeated large-scale displacement. Insecurity hinders large-scale return and tribal clashes have created new displacement in 2012. In the south, conflict that began in May 2011 in Abyan Governorate resulted in significant displacement. Recent indications are that some IDPs have started to return to Abyan and that there may be the possibility of more returns in the coming months. UNHCR stands ready, with other humanitarian organizations, to help IDPs who decide to return voluntarily to rebuild their lives in safety and dignity. UNHCR also is supporting the Government to develop a national IDP policy focused on supporting durable solutions for IDPs.
Yemen continues to receive an unprecedented influx of people fleeing from across the Arabian and Red Sea in search of safety, protection and economic opportunities. However, with the worsening economic situation and insecurity, many refugees in Yemen who were once self-reliant have become increasingly vulnerable.