IOM concerned for 190,000 migrants facing ‘dire conditions’ in Yemen

Almost 200,000 migrants in Yemen in 'dire' need of assistance: IOM

Almost 200,000 migrants in Yemen in ‘dire’ need of assistance: IOM. Photo via AFP

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Saturday called on the international community to do more to support victims of the war in Yemen, including 190,000 migrants stranded in the war-torn country.

“Some 190,000 migrants from the Horn of Africa are in dire need of assistance,” the IOM – the UN agency in charge of migration issues – warned in a statement.

Many African migrants, particularly from Ethiopia and Somalia, continue to cross war-torn Yemen on their way to the Gulf, where they hope to find work.

Some 35,000 Ethiopian migrants travelled to Yemen in 2020 and 127,000 in 2019, before the outbreak of the coronavirus suppressed demand for labour in the Gulf states, according to the IOM.

The seven-year-long war in Yemen has displaced four million people, and two-thirds of Yemenis now rely on humanitarian aid. But despite the deepening humanitarian crisis, “funding for the humanitarian response has been on a worrying decline,” the IOM said.

Earlier this month, the Red Cross urged donors no to shift their attention away from Yemen, despite other ongoing humanitarian emergencies, in particular the invasion of Ukraine – which has captured much space in international media for the past month.

The UN estimates 19 million Yemenis, out of a population of 23.4 million people, are in danger of starvation.

The war in Yemen started in 2014 when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured the capital Sanaa and overthrew the internationally recognised government, prompting a Saudi-led coalition to intervene one year later to try to restore the government. More than 150,000 Yemenis have been killed in the conflict since.

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