The protracted civil war in Somalia has led to a large influx of refugees into neighboring countries since 1992. In Yemen the Government estimates that there are some 221,000 refugees in the country while UNHCR has registered only about 98,000 refugees as of 31 March 2012. Historically the majority of arrivals were Somalis, though 2009/2010 has witnessed a growing number of Ethiopian migrants crossing. Other refugee populations include mainly Eritreans and Iraqis. Many refugees come to Yemen often with the expectation of reaching the neighboring oil-rich Gulf States.
WFP has provided food assistance to Somali refugees in Yemen since 1992. Given the protracted nature of the displacement, and the visible lack of durable solution, WFP launched a two-year Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) covering the period February 2010-December 2011, with a budget of US$ 7 million. The operation has been implemented in collaboration with UNHCR and various local and international NGOs.
The situation of refugees in Yemen requires continued food and non-food assistance. The Biannual UNHCR/WFP/GOY Joint Assessment Mission (JAM) helps to adjust programmatic responses in the changing context. The current JAM was planned to be conducted between August and September 2011. However, due to the civil unrest and security related issues in Yemen it has been delayed and was finally conducted between late April and June 2012.
UNHCR, WFP, GOY and IPs were directly involved in the JAM while other partners had significant contributions. The findings and recommendations of the 2012 JAM will form the basis for the next operation aiming at improved assistance to refugees in Yemen.
The purpose of the 2012 JAM was to assess the overall situation and needs of refugees in Yemen and determine the appropriate programmatic responses for the next 24 months. As a methodological approach, two major procedures were followed: i) conducting extensive literature review and secondary data collection and analysis; and ii) deploying two teams to collect as much primary data as possible from the four refugee sites – Kharaz camp, Bab al Mandab transit center, Basateen urban refugees, and Sana’a city refugees. While the desk reviewing and secondary data collection and analysis took place between January and April 2012, primary data collection was conducted between 28 April and 6 May 2012 covering the four refugee sites.
The JAM team then compiled all the information collected from various sources and prepared a presentation on the preliminary findings of the study and made a national debriefing for key institutions/authorities including representatives of UNHCR and WFP, relevant government officials and many other stakeholders. Finally, based on the inputs from the debriefing and the valuable guidance from the key institutions, all the information gathered from secondary sources and data from the field work were compiled, triangulated, consolidated and presented in a report prepared using the JAM generic standard reporting format.