The Yemeni government announced that more than 55,000 refugees originating from Africa have arrived in the war-ravaged Arab country since the beginning of 2023.
According to Minister of Public Health and Population Qasem Buhaibeh, “over 55,000 individuals who have fled from the Horn of Africa have sought refuge in Yemen since the beginning of 2023”, reports Xinhua news agency.
Buhaibeh said in a statement the current number of African refugees has risen considerably compared to the same period during the last three years.
He emphasised the importance of the United Nations and affiliated humanitarian organisations providing assistance to African refugees and expressed his government’s firm commitment to offering accessible healthcare services to African refugees without any form of discrimination.
On Sunday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced that Yemen has experienced a record influx of migrants, surpassing 40,000 arrivals in the first four months of 2023.
The IOM called for immediate support to meet the challenges facing migrants and ensure the provision of basic services, noting that “donor support is crucial to alleviating funding shortfalls and improving conditions for migrants in Yemen”.
Despite years of civil war, Yemen continues to serve as a transit country for tens of thousands of migrants heading from the Horn of Africa for Saudi Arabia.
Migrants in Yemen face difficult living conditions and lack proper shelters or services, according to the UN.
Yemen has been embroiled in a civil war since late 2014 when the Houthi militia, backed by Iran, took control of several northern provinces, forcing the Saudi-backed government out of the capital city Sanaa.