More than 3 million displaced in strife torn Yemen: joint UN agency report

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UNITED NATIONS, Aug 22 (APP): More than three million Yemenis have been displaced by the ongoing conflict between the Yemeni government and the Houthi group in Yemen, according to a joint report by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The UNHCR and IOM said in a statement that the Yemeni conflict, which erupted in late 2014, have uprooted 3,154,572 people, including 2,205,102 individuals who remain displaced across the country.

The two organizations cited a 7% increase in displacement across Yemen since April—when the Yemeni government and Houthis engaged in UN brokered peace talks in Kuwait, with 152,009 individuals fleeing from violence during this period.

“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, while 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 percent 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,”

Laurent De Boeck, IOM Chief of Mission to Yemen, said.
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 percent, 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.