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UN migration agency and EU step up aid for 325,000 Yemenis in need

May 24, 2022
A woman sits with her son at the family's makeshift home in Lahj, Yemen.
A woman sits with her son at the family's makeshift home in Lahj, Yemen.

GENEVA — The UN migration agency IOM and the European Union’s Humanitarian Aid wing (ECHO), said on Monday that they are scaling up their efforts to respond to the needs of more than 325,000 displaced by the conflict in Yemen, including migrants and the communities that host them.

Those in need will be provided with urgently needed shelter, health, cash, protection services and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) support. 

Over the last seven years, the conflict in Yemen has triggered a dire humanitarian crisis, displacing over 4.3 million people, destroying vital infrastructure and exacerbating the needs of migrants, displaced and host communities, said IOM.

“The situation is also getting worse for migrants in Yemen, especially women, who are living in dire conditions in Yemen with little control over their lives,” said Christa Rottensteiner, Chief of the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Mission in the country.

According to the UN’s humanitarian office, two out of three Yemenis rely on humanitarian assistance.

And across the country, at least 7.4 million Yemenis need shelter and household items while 17.8 million require WASH support. 

Meanwhile amid rising food and fuel prices, needs continue to intensify as the population struggles to survive in an economic crisis that has been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, which supplied nearly 30 per cent of Yemen’s wheat supply prior to the fighting.  

“Conflict remains the main driver of displacement, but the humanitarian needs of communities have been aggravated by a weakened economy,” said Rottensteiner.

Despite the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis, Yemen remains a major point on the migration route from the Horn of Africa to Saudi Arabia, where many go in search of work opportunities.

Tens of thousands are estimated to be stranded and unable to return home or make it to their destination, and many are subject to grave human rights violations. So far this year, migrant arrivals into Yemen are picking up again, with nearly 25,000 estimated to have arrived in the first four months of 2022. 

Contributions from the EU are allowing IOM to provide thousands of these migrants with health assistance, information on safe migration and individualized protection assistance. 

For internally displaced persons, IOM is supporting site management and service coordination across 61 displacement sites. Cash assistance is being provided to those newly displaced by fighting and to families whose shelters require rehabilitation which prevents the risk of flooding and fire hazards.  

The funding also enables the distribution of life-saving water to communities, provide hygiene kits, rehabilitate water and sanitation infrastructure and run hygiene promotion campaigns to reduce the risk of disease outbreaks. 

“This renewed partnership with the EU is allowing IOM to continue its activities and reach thousands of displaced people and migrants with assistance that is essential to their survival,” added Ms. Rottensteiner. — UN News


May 24, 2022
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