Geneva – Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor and the Institute for Migration Studies at the Lebanese American University have released a joint paper on displacement in Yemen as part of a program launched by the university to shed light on the plight of the displaced and refugees around the world.
The program, implemented by the university in cooperation with international organizations, seeks to provide comprehensive and reliable information about 12 refugee and displaced communities around the world to constitute a database for specialists, researchers, and journalists working on covering refugee and displaced issues.
The paper indicated that seven years of continuous conflict in Yemen have taken a toll on the population at various levels. About 23.4 million Yemenis (73% of the population) have become dependent on humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs. Military operations have displaced about 4.3 million Yemenis by March 2022. Approximately 40% of them live in unofficial displacement camps and do not have adequate access to basic services, if any.
Yemen is witnessing a total economic collapse as a result of the ongoing conflict. The per capita GDP has decreased by about 50% than it was before the outbreak of the conflict. Two out of three Yemenis (20 million men, women, and children) live in extreme poverty.
The paper stated that by the beginning of 2022, the conflict had killed about 377,000 people. 60% of them died due to issues associated with the conflict, such as starvation and preventable diseases.
According to the estimates of specialized UN agencies, the humanitarian situation in Yemen is expected to worsen during the period from June to December 2022, as the number of people unable to meet their minimum food needs in Yemen may reach a record 19 million. It is also expected that an additional 1.6 million people in the country will fall into emergency levels of hunger, bringing the total to 7.3 million by the end of 2022. It is feared that the numbers will rise even higher due to the decline in international funding for humanitarian operations, as world leaders only committed $1.3 billion out of the $4.3 billion needed for the humanitarian response in Yemen in the pledging conference held on 16 March 2021.
While the conflict in Yemen has often led to mass internal displacement, it has also pushed large numbers of Yemenis to seek safe haven outside the country. However, statistics regarding Yemeni refugees and their distribution in host countries are still very limited. On the other hand, Yemen is still a host country for refugees despite the circumstances it is going through, as it hosts about 137 thousand refugees and asylum seekers from Somalia and Ethiopia.
The paper emphasized that UNHCR is the only agency concerned with the protection and well-being of refugees and asylum seekers in all governorates of Yemen. Its humanitarian response efforts focus on protection interventions, housing and shelter support, camp coordination and management services, financial assistance, peaceful coexistence, and social cohesion projects.