Yemen receives over 10,000 new arrivals by sea since start of conflict, many tricked that fighting is over

UNHCR Yemen Representative Johannes van der Klaauw spoke at the Palais des Nations briefing this morning and this is an abridged version of his comments.

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Leo Dobbs to whom quoted text may be attributed at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The UNHCR Yemen Representative Johannes van der Klaauw spoke at the Palais des Nations briefing this morning and this is an abridged version of his comments.

Some 10,500 new arrivals to Yemen have been recorded since the start of the conflict on 26th March, latest UNHCR figures reveal. Since the start of the year, over 37,000 refugees and migrants have arrived by sea, the majority from Ethiopia as well as Somalis and other nationalities.

Many are tricked into making the journey by smugglers who tell them that the conflict is over and all is safe in Yemen. The usual risks associated with such sea crossings of abduction, attacks, drowning, exploitation and sexual assault still exist. Due to the ongoing conflict and reduced access, UNHCR and partners are unable to bring arrivals to urban centres in order to receive full assistance.

Mass information campaigns are planned for Puntland and Somaliland and other points of departure to discourage crossings. At the same time, over 51,000 people have fled Yemen for Djibouti, Somalia, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.

The number of internally displaced Yemenis has increased four-fold since the conflict began, with 1,267,590 Yemenis now displaced within their own country. The largest concentrations are of internally displaced people (IDPs) are in Hajjah (298,788), Al Dhale (227,414) and Aden (184,100). Yemenis are demonstrating great resilience and solidarity as 80 percent of those displaced (approximately 800,000) are living with host families. There are approximately 250,000 mainly Somali refugees in urban centres in Yemen. However, due to the fighting, many have been displaced from Aden to Kharaz camp and and towns in southern Yemen.

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