Tag Archives: IOM

IOM Supports Key Health Facility in Sana’a, Yemen

Water tanks donated by IOM to Al-Thawra General Modern Hospital. Photo: IOMYE

21 February 2017 – Yemen

IOM has donated two water tanks with a total capacity of 60,000 litres to Al-Thawra General Modern Hospital in Sana’a, Yemen.

Al-Thawra General Modern Hospital is the biggest public hospital in Yemen, providing services to the whole community, including migrants and refugees, who receive the same care and pay the same minimum charges as local people.

The hospital is suffering from a desperate lack of resources, while facing a large influx of patients due to the ongoing conflict. Prolonged air, sea and land blockades are contributing to an acute shortage of medicines, medical supplies and equipment. Water, sanitation and health personnel are also in short supply.

Currently, only 45 percent of health facilities are functioning in Yemen. Around 274 facilities have been damaged or destroyed due to the conflict, and the facilities that are still functioning have limited capacity.

Most people seeking medical assistance are unable to find the help they need inside Yemen. But seeking medical care outside the country is also difficult, with the main functioning airport in Yemen, Sana’a International Airport, now closed.

To support public health facilities in Yemen, IOM is planning to support Al-Thawra General Modern Hospital with another three tons of medicine and medical supplies, as well as essential equipment.

“The health infrastructure in Yemen continues to face immense challenges due to a severe lack of medical supplies and resources,” said IOM Yemen Chief of Mission Laurent de Boeck. “Thanks to UK DFID, IOM has been able to support Yemen’s damaged health infrastructure, but more support is urgently needed to expand our response and ensure the provision of healthcare services to the most underserved areas,” he added.

For further information, please contact Saba Malme at IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email: smalme@iom.int

Yemen conflict comes at great cost to civilians: UN envoy

A man from the city of Sa’ada, sits outside his tent in the Dharwan settlement outside Yemen’s capital Sana’a. He fled with his eight sons to the temporary settlement after his house was destroyed by Yemen’s devastating conflict. Photo: UNHCR/Mohammed Hamoud

21 February 2017 – United Nations Radio

Listen

The escalation of conflict and militarization of Yemen’s Western Coast is coming at a great cost to civilians, the humanitarian coordinator in the country, Jamie McGoldrick, has warned.

Fighting and displacement have mainly been concentrated in Al Mukha and Al Dhubab districts in Taizz governorate.

Since the beginning of the conflict in March 2015, some three million people have been forced to flee their homes for safety, according to UN estimates.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

UN humanitarian coordinator Jamie McGoldrick issued a statement on Tuesday expressing concern over the recent flare-up of fighting in Yemen and its impact on the ongoing food crisis.

Over 17 million people in Yemen are currently unable to adequately feed themselves and are frequently forced to skip meals, he said.

Seven million Yemenis don’t know where their next meal will come from and are even closer to starvation, he added.

Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) also issued a warning following the release of the latest data on the country’s displacement crisis.

Prolonged hostilities and worsening conditions are now forcing one million of those uprooted to return to the homes they fled, despite the danger and insecurity across the country, the agencies said.

On a more positive note, health authorities in Yemen launched a nationwide polio immunization campaign on Monday with the help of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

More than 5 million children under the age of five are expected to get the vaccine, according to WHO’s Christian Lindemeir.

“More than 40,000 health workers are taking part in the 3 day campaign and that involves more than 5,000 vehicles that had to be rented. The campaign started in all governorates except Sa’ada which is in the northwest where it will take place next week and will be combined with measles and rubella measles campaign due to the measles outbreak there.”

Mr Lindemeir said the last immunization campaign was in 2016. 

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Yemen’s brutal two-year conflict forcing displaced to return home amid persisting risks – UN

A man from the city of Sa’ada, sits outside his tent in the Dharwan settlement outside Yemen’s capital Sana’a. He fled with his eight sons to the temporary settlement after his house was destroyed by Yemen’s devastating conflict. Photo: UNHCR/Mohammed Hamoud

21 February 2017

The complex crisis in Yemen continues to deepen, with United Nations agencies reporting today that perhaps one million people who had fled for safety are returning to their homes mainly due to a lack of access to income and basic services in the areas of displacement, warning that returnees often find the situation just as bad.

“It’s testament to how catastrophic the situation in Yemen has become, that those displaced by the conflict are now returning home because life in the areas to which they had fled for safety is just as abysmal as in the areas from which they fled,” said Ayman Gharaibeh, the Representative for Yemen of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in a joint press release issued with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

“These returns cannot be viewed as sustainable,” Mr. Gharaibeh added, explaining that people often return to homes that have been damaged and to areas lacking essential services, and are often forced to flee again.

A multi-sectoral location assessment report released today, and a periodically updated population movement tracking report published last month, show that there are currently two million internally displaced people (IDPs) across Yemen and one million IDP returnees.

As conditions across the country further deteriorate, many more IDPs are contemplating a return home, where challenging security and socio-economic conditions persist. About 40 per cent of key informants indicate that IDPs now intend to return home within the next three months. The reports highlight a lack of access to income and basic services in areas of displacement as the main reasons for pushing IDPs to return to the areas of their origin.

All but of Yemen’s governorates now affected by devastating conflict

Mr. Gharaibeh noted that all of Yemen’s governorates, with the exception of the island of Socotra, have been affected by conflict.

“The overwhelming majority of Yemen’s one million IDP returnees have returned to Aden, Amanat Al Asimah, Taizz, Lahj and Shabwah, which have been particularly impacted by hostilities and insecurity,” he explained.

Yemen’s local communities are also under intense strain with alarming scarcities of food and insufficient access to water and sanitation services. Some 84 per cent of Yemen’s two million IDPs have been displaced for more than a year and scarce resources are increasingly overstretched.

“IOM and all partners must scale up their response to support those newly displaced as well as those whose displacement is becoming increasingly protracted with shifting needs,” said IOM Yemen’s Chief of Mission, Laurent De Boeck.

Weapons must fall silent to avert famine

In a separate statement, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, warned against the impact of increased fighting along Yemen’s west coast on the food crisis.

“I urgently call on all parties to the conflict and on those that have influence over the parties to facilitate the rapid entry of critical life-saving food staples into all Yemeni ports,” he said, noting that over 17 million people are frequently forced to skip meals and seven million Yeminis do not know where their next meal will come from and are ever closer to starvation.

Moreover, the availability of food in markets and the food pipeline are at imminent risk. Food shortages are widespread, food and fuel prices are rising, there are disruptions to agricultural production, and purchasing power is plummeting, especially brought about by the lack of salary payments in the public sector for over six months.

And given that the country is 80-90 per cent dependent on imported food staples, he said he is “compelled to raise the alarm,” as such factors, if left unabated, could combine to accelerate the onset of famine.

“The best means to prevent famine in Yemen is for weapons to fall silent across the country and for the parties to the conflict to return to the negotiating table,” he said.

UN agencies support nationwide polio immunization campaign

Meanwhile, a nationwide polio immunization campaign was launched yesterday in Yemen by national health authorities with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), aiming to immunize about five million children under the age of five.

More than 40,000 health workers are taking part in the three-day campaign.

“WHO is working closely with UNICEF and health authorities to keep Yemen polio-free. The threat of virus importation is serious and this campaign aims to curb any possible return of the virus to Yemen,” said WHO Acting Representative in Yemen, Nevio Zagaria.

This is the first polio immunization campaign since April 2016. The security situation in Yemen has limited accessibility of many parts of the country, leaving many children at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases.

More than three million displaced in Yemen – joint UN agency report

6 August 2015, Khamer, Yemen: Displacement site in Khamer in Amran Governorate. About 200 families of the muhamasheen minority displaced from Sa’ada live in the site. Credits: OCHA / Philippe Kropf

6 August 2015, Khamer, Yemen: Displacement site in Khamer in Amran Governorate. About 200 families of the muhamasheen minority displaced from Sa’ada live in the site. Credits: OCHA / Philippe Kropf

22 August 2016

A joint report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has found that the conflict in Yemen has resulted in the displacement of some 3,154,572 people, of which 2,205,102 remain displaced across the country and some 949,470 have attempted to return home.

“The crisis is forcing more and more people to leave their homes in search of safety,” Ita Schuette, UNHCR’s Deputy Representative in Yemen said in a news release on Friday, announcing the report.

The news release added that due to the escalating conflict and worsening humanitarian conditions, displacement across the country has seen an increase of about seven per cent since April, with 152,009 individuals fleeing from violence during this period.

The report, prepared by the Task Force on Population Movement, a technical working group led by the two agencies as part of the humanitarian response to the crisis in Yemen, also said that a significant number of those displaced are attempting to return home, a 24 per cent increase of some 184,491 individuals. However, it cautioned that movements remained fluid and correlated to moments of lulls or perceived improvements in the conflict.

“IDP returnees are considered to remain within the displacement cycle as long as they have not achieved a sustainable reintegration and their needs remain high, as is also the case for the non-displaced host community,” said Laurent De Boeck, IOM Chief of Mission to Yemen.

The news release further added that prolonged displacement had adversely impacted the communities hosting uprooted populations, substantially increasing pressures on already scarce resources. The majority of those displaced, some 62 per cent, are being hosted by their family and friends while others are using unsuitable shelters.

It further said that for those displaced, the primary challenges continued to be the basic essentials: food, shelter and drinking water.

According to the figures, as the conflict continues, the average length of time people having to spend away from their homes has also increased. Most of those uprooted, some 89 per cent, have been displaced for more than ten months.

The report also includes data on displacement due to natural disasters: at present, 24,744 individuals remain displaced due to cyclones and floods.

Cumulatively, owing to conflict and natural disasters, eight per cent of Yemen’s population now remains displaced.

> According to the news release, the report consolidates data from the UNHCR Population Movement Tracking system and the IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix, enabling the release of the most comprehensive estimates of displaced population figures and trends in Yemen to date.

IOM Responds to Needs of Recently Displaced Families in Lahj Governorate, Yemen

IOM DTM Team in Yemen assessing and monitoring IDP households in Tuban district in Lahj. Photo: IOM 2016

IOM DTM Team in Yemen assessing and monitoring IDP households in Tuban district in Lahj. Photo: IOM 2016

20 May 2016 – Yemen

Since February, ground clashes in bordering areas of Lahj and Taizz governorates in Yemen have forced hundreds of families out of their homes and villages to seek safety away from their homes of habitual residence.

Recently, through IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), IOM field staff identified 80 households that have fled to areas in Tur Al Baha district, Lahj, and 35 households to Tuban district, Lahj.

IOM field teams, comprised of shelter/non-food items (NFIs) and DTM teams, conducted rapid assessments and revealed the most urgent needs of these IDP families to be shelter/NFIs along with water and sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance.

This week, IOM shelter/NFIs teams distributed kits to 30 of the most vulnerable households in Tur Al Baha District with further transportation and distribution of another 85 Shelter and NFI kits comprising of mattresses, blankets, kitchen sets, sleeping mats, jerry cans, plastic sheets, and rope scheduled for early next week in Tur Al Baha and Tuban District.

Recently arrived Chief of Mission for IOM Yemen, Laurent De Boeck, said: “In adherence to the humanitarian principles, IOM remains committed to meet the needs of the most vulnerable affected populations, as displacement continues to touch numerous families throughout the country, and the humanitarian situation remains dire. IOM is taking all possible measures to continue serving the people of Yemen and provide direct relief in close cooperation with its national and international partners.”

Since the beginning of the crisis, IOM has assisted 834 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and families (approximately 5,838 individuals) in Tur Al Baha, Madarebah Wa Ras El Arah, Al Qabbaitah and Karish districts of Lahj govenorates.

In December 2015, IOM assisted the Local Corporation for Water and Sanitation through procuring and replacing seven water pumps in Tuban District, benefitting approximately 33,838 individuals. IOM has been assisting IDPs in Lahj governorate with a daily supply of water and the distribution of family water tanks and dignity kits.

Since 26 March 2015, IOM has assisted a total 63,709 IDPs in Aden, Abyan, Lahj, Hadhramaut, Shabwah, Al Dhale’e, Sa’ada, Taizz, Al Maharah and Socotra governorates through shelter and NFI support. A total of 634,596 IDPs and conflict-affected persons (266,530 women, 285,568 men, 44,422 girls and 38,076 boys) have benefitted from IOM’s WASH activities in Abyan, Aden, Al Dhale’e, Al Jawf, Hadhramaut, Ibb, Taizz Lahj, Sana’a and Shabwah governorates. On average, 15 litres of water per person per day is provided by IOM.

IOM Yemen’s Emergency Response is funded by OFDA (US), DFID (UK) and Japan. IOM is seeking additional funding to expand its operations to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable affected populations in Yemen.

For further information, please contact Saba Malme, IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 1 410 568, Email: smalme@iom.int

IOM Trucks Water to Conflict-Affected Communities in Taiz, Yemen

11 November 2015 – Yemen

Since November 5th IOM has been assisting the two districts of Taizz city most badly affected by the conflict – Al Qahira and Al Mudhaffar – with water trucking.

Located 250 kilometres south of the capital Sana’a, Taizz is Yemen’s third largest city and has been on the frontline of the conflict in Yemen since August.

Since then fierce clashes between the parties to the conflict have been taking place on a daily basis, and all movements in and out of the city have been limited. Humanitarian partners have been prevented from entering Taizz, imposing a blockade on relief supplies much needed by the affected population.

IOM is working with local youth volunteers to distribute the water, an approach that has proven successful in gaining access to other conflict areas in Yemen, including Aden.

IOM is now trucking 6,500 liters of water a day to three water distribution points in Al Qahira to supply 650 people. It is delivering another 5,500 liters a day to three points in Al Mudhaffar, serving another 550 people.

In Aden, IOM is supporting the local authorities responsible for water and sanitation by rehabilitating wells that supply the whole of Aden city. Two important elements of the rehabilitation – the repair of 26 submerged water pumps and the repair of the wells’ electrical networks – have already been completed.

The third component, procurement of spare parts to ensure sustainable, ongoing maintenance, has begun. The rehabilitation work will benefit 331,701 individuals throughout the eight districts of Aden Governorate, providing them with water for drinking, washing, and cooking.

Since the start of the conflict, some 188,000 people have benefited from IOM’s water, sanitation and hygiene activities in Aden, Abyan, Dhale’e, Lahj, Shabwa, Al Jawf, Sana’a, and Hadramout.

The operations are funded by the USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, UK DFID and the Humanitarian Pooled Fund.

Compounding the humanitarian suffering caused by the conflict, since the beginning of November two cyclones – Chapala and Megh – have made landfall in Yemen’s southern governorates.

IOM, through its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), has identified approximately 5,974 families across 13 districts in the governorates of Socotra, Hadramaut, Shabwah, Abyan, Al Maharah and Lahj, displaced by the storms.

For further information please contact Stefano Pes at IOM Yemen, Tel: +967 7340 00385, Email: spes@iom.int

IOM Helps Ethiopians Return Home from Yemen, Djibouti

3 November 2015 

Ethiopia – IOM has helped 54 Ethiopians who were stranded in Djibouti and Yemen to return home.

The group included 22 unaccompanied minors, including a 12-year old girl named Ayisha. “I left Jijiga for Saudi Arabia with a friend of mine who is 20. My friend told me that I could work with her. I was living with my grandmother and was going to school. When I heard about the war in Yemen, I decided to come back home from Djibouti. But my friend continued to Yemen,” she said.

Ayisha and the other 21 (boys) are undergoing family tracing and reunification procedures at the IOM transit centre in Addis Ababa, in close coordination with UNICEF and the Ethiopian Ministry of Women Children and Youth Affairs.

Through its Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) program, IOM Djibouti has been helping hundreds of vulnerable Ethiopians to return home. In October 2015 alone, it repatriated 137 Ethiopians, 29 of them unaccompanied minors.

For further information, please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251.11. 6611117 (Ext. 455), Mobile: +251.91.163-9082 Email: salemayehu@iom.int

IOM Evacuates 83 Ethiopian Migrants from Yemen

13 October 2015 – Yemen

IOM this week (11/10) assisted the evacuation of 83 Ethiopian migrants from Yemen via Djibouti.

The returnees – 15 unaccompanied minors and 68 adult men – were stranded in Yemen due to the conflict and had no means to return home. The operation was organized in coordination with IOM country offices in Yemen and Djibouti and the governments of Ethiopia and Djibouti.

Fifteen of the returnees are currently undergoing family tracing and reunification procedures at the IOM transit centre in Addis Ababa, while the 68 adults were provided with transportation allowance and returned to their homes in the countryside.

Since the eruption of conflict in Yemen in March 2015, IOM has been providing vital humanitarian assistance in evacuating and providing post-arrival assistance to Ethiopian migrants returning home.

The total number of Ethiopians including those evacuated by the Government of Ethiopia has now reached 7,166.

For further information, please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251.11. 6611117 (Ext. 455), Mobile: +251.91.163-9082 Email: salemayehu@iom.int

IOM, UNHCR work together to aid migrants and refugees fleeing Yemen

6 October 2015 – Kenya

Representatives from IOM and UNHCR have presented a Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RRMRP) to respond to the crisis in Yemen at a donor meeting held in Nairobi on October 5th. The plan will cost USD 36 million from October to December 2015 and may cost a further USD 119 million in 2016.

The RRMRP covering the period of October-December 2015 is the outcome of an inter-agency planning process coordinated by IOM, UNHCR and partner agencies in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan.

It aims to deliver protection and humanitarian assistance to an estimated 103,000 people fleeing the conflict in Yemen to neighboring countries by the end of 2015. This figure could rise to 202,000 by the end of 2016.

It also provides preliminary estimates for 2016, including population planning figures and an indicative budget. The 2016 plan will be revised and updated later this year.

March 2015 marked an escalation of the conflict in Yemen, triggering the flight of thousands of Yemenis, refugees (mainly Somalis), and third country nationals. To date, close to 70,000 people fleeing the crisis have arrived in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan. Up to 44,080 people are reported to have arrived in Saudi Arabia and Oman.

Speaking at the Nairobi meeting, IOM Permanent Observer to the UN in New York Ashraf El Nour emphasized the importance of a coordinated and strategic approach in addressing the needs of affected people.

“The needs of individuals coming to Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti are multiple. Refugees and migrants arrive after many hours at sea often traumatized and exhausted, with few personal belongings, and in urgent need of food, water and emergency healthcare. The most pressing response therefore is to address their basic needs and to register and provide documentation to enable access to essential services,” he said.

Countries around Yemen have shown great solidarity by welcoming people fleeing the crisis. Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan have granted prima facie refugee status to Yemenis arriving on their soil, while also allowing people of other nationalities fleeing Yemen to stay.

Somalis are now returning home, hoping to rebuild their lives in their own country. Saudi Arabia has also regularized the status of hundreds of thousands of Yemeni migrants.

IOM has helped irregular Ethiopian migrants who were in Yemen to return to Ethiopia. It has also helped other third country nationals stranded in Yemen to return to their home countries.

UNHCR’s Regional Refugee Coordinator for the Yemen situation Claire Bourgeois said: “Today, more than ever before, governments, humanitarian, development and other actors have the duty to ensure that people in need are not neglected. They must be able to restore dignity to their lives as efforts are made to find lasting solutions to their plight.”

An interactive Refugee and Migrants Response Plan web portal that provides in-depth information on the situation in Yemen and the resultant outflow of migrants and refugees was launched in September 2015.

The portal (http://data.unhcr.org/yemen/) allows public users to access the RRMRP, together with statistics, situation reports and other related information. IOM and UNHCR have called on the public and media to use the portal to keep abreast of the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

For further information, please contact Craig Murphy at IOM Kenya, Tel: +254 717711822, Email: cmurphy@iom.int or
Dorothy Lusweti at UNHCR Djibouti, Tel: +253 77 22 79 14, Email: lusweti@unhcr.org

IOM Evacuates 342 Ethiopian Migrants from Yemen

Stranded Ethiopian migrants board an IOM commissioned ship in Hodeidah seaport in Yemen. © IOM 2015

Stranded Ethiopian migrants board an IOM commissioned ship in Hodeidah seaport in Yemen. © IOM 2015

22 September 2015 – Yemen 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Yemen this week (20/09) resumed humanitarian evacuations after one month, assisting 342 Ethiopian migrants – 52 women, 240 men, 4 girls and 46 boys – who had been stranded in Yemen since the eruption of the conflict in late March.

IOM had suspended all sea operations after the bombing of Al Hudaydah seaport but was able to immediately resume evacuations as soon as the port became accessible to smaller vessels.

Prior to their evacuation, the stranded migrants had gathered in Al Hudaydah seeking a way out of Yemen. Left destitute from the difficult journey through the war-torn country, the group had received pre-departure fitness to travel screening and, where necessary, primary health assistance. The operation was organized in coordination with IOM country offices in Djibouti and Ethiopia, which will provide transit and onward transportation assistance.

“I left my country with hopes of getting a job in the Middle East, but now I have lost hope and my health,” said 20-year-old Gidey, in obvious pain from a gunshot wound sustained when he was caught up in crossfire on his way to Al Hudaydah.

Since the conflict escalated in Yemen, migrants have been part of the civilian population affected by airstrikes, ground shelling and street fighting. Despite difficulties in reaching conflict-affected locations, IOM medical teams have so far managed to provide emergency health assistance to vulnerable migrants, some of whom are in very severe conditions.

“Since the beginning of the sea evacuation in June 2015, IOM has assisted 2,257 migrants to leave from Al Hudaydah seaport. IOM continues to receive many requests for assistance to depart Yemen from third country nationals (TCNs) who are not able to do so by their own means, and so far IOM has depleted all allocated resources,” said Nicoletta Giordano, IOM Yemen Chief of Mission.

For further information please contact Chissey Mueller at IOM Yemen, Tel.: + 967 737 501 683, Email: cmueller@iom.int