Yemen: Raging violence displaces more than 85,000 civilians, says UN refugee agency

Rahaf Ali Bedaish, 8, carries her little brother Ahmed, 2, outside their tent at the Dharawan settlement. They have been displaced from Taizz governorate since the beginning of the conflict and miss their home. ; UNHCR is responding to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, providing emergency assistance to those forcibly displaced by the conflict. Recent fighting in Yemen has made years of poverty and insecurity even worse. The conflict has killed 10,000 people and disrupted millions of lives, with 2 million internally displaced and a further 1 million having returned home to dangerous conditions. More than 20 million Yemenis need humanitarian assistance. UNHCR provides emergency shelter and household assistance including mattresses, blankets, sleeping mats, kitchen sets, buckets and other essential items. Our assistance has reached people in all 20 governorates affected by the conflict. We also refurbish public buildings that now host displaced families. We provide legal and financial assistance as well as psycho-social support, and we continue to protect and support some 280,000 refugees, mainly from the Horn of Africa, who remain in Yemen despite the conflict.

9 February 2018

Surging violence across Yemen has resulted in the displacement of more than 85,000 people in just the last 10 weeks, the United Nations refugee agency reported Friday.

Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with more than 22 million in need, fuelled by ongoing conflict, a breakdown in public services and a collapsing economy.

“We are particularly concerned for those that remain in areas close to hostilities in Taiz and Hudaydah governorates,” said Cécile Pouilly, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters in Geneva, Switzerland.

“As a result of prolonged fighting in those two governorates, conditions continue to deteriorate, exposing people to violence and disease without access to basic services,” she added, noting that the agency was “alarmed” as hundreds of people are forced to flee their homes each day, due to increasing military operations, particularly on the west coast.

Most of those displaced in these two governorates are trapped inside their homes or in caves as ground clashes, aerial bombardment and sniper fire rage around them.

In addition to new displacements from those fleeing the coast, UNHCR is also observing a spike from other frontline areas, including Yemen’s border governorates.

Meanwhile, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has launched an appeal for $96.2 million to fund its 2018 response for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

“Three years of conflict have inflicted suffering on millions, affecting every Yemeni – man, woman or child,” said William Lacy Swing, the UN migration agency’s Director General, from its headquarters in Geneva.

“With armed conflict ongoing, a stalled peace process and an economic blockade, Yemen is in the grips of a devastating protracted humanitarian and developmental crisis,” he added.