Operation: Opération: Yemen



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Key Figures

2020 year-end results
1.2 million IDPs, refugees and members of host communities received cash assistance
437,874 displaced Yemenis and 23,879 refugees were provided with core relief items
127,199 displaced Yemenis received emergency shelter kits
82,600 refugees and members of the host community were provided with medicines
33,706 displaced Yemenis and 3,441 refugees benefited from legal assistance
7,297 refugee children were enrolled in primary education
2021 planning figures
1 million IDPs  and 44,500 refugees in Yemen will receive multipurpose cash assistance
420,000 IDPs will receive emergency shelter
350,000 IDPs and 35,000 refugees will receive core relief items
124,000 IDPs and 1,100 refugees will receive transitional shelter
75,000 IDPs and 8,700 refugees will receive legal awareness, counselling and mediation sessions, and – when necessary – representation
49,000 refugees will receive health care support
30,000 IDPs and 8,000 refugees will be provided with psychosocial support through UNHCR’s community centres
9,600 refugee children will receive school kits for primary and secondary education
210 refugee students will receive support to access tertiary education

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2020 4,190,446
2019 3,974,100
2018 2,551,517


[["Refugees",166936],["Asylum-seekers",10695],["IDPs",4002012],["Returned IDPs",10788],["Others of concern",15]]
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2020 {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"budget":[124.06305842000002,113.64964779699999,198.74363653,198.64863681999998,251.75087273000003,272.11412655000004],"expenditure":[76.23390409999999,70.06427451,135.33389555000002,139.83043673,158.97209178999998,null]} {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"p1":[48.97075377,63.273753997,95.14566879,48.51471679,60.108568420000005,69.14214928],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[75.09230465,50.3758938,103.59796774,150.13392003,191.64230431000001,202.97197727000002]} {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"p1":[27.28466288,28.778660010000003,33.77039735,31.84228801,47.42180527,null],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[48.94924122,41.2856145,101.5634982,107.98814872,111.55028652,null]}
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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021

Working environment

Conditions in Yemen continued to deteriorate after two years of civil war. Some 18.8 million people needed humanitarian assistance in 2016. The already precarious humanitarian situation worsened due to substantial infrastructure damage and economic decline, further disrupting the provision of basic commodities, such as water, food, medicine and fuel, as well as services including electricity and sanitation facilities.
These dire conditions have affected millions of Yemenis, including over 2 million internally displaced people (IDPs) and over 1 million people who were previously displaced and have subsequently returned back to their homes. In addition, more than 270,000 refugees, primarily from Ethiopia, Somalia and the Syrian Arab Republic, found themselves in vulnerable situations in Yemen. Furthermore, despite increasing hostilities, asylum-seekers and migrants from the Horn of Africa continued to arrive by sea. More than 117,000 new arrivals landed along the coasts of Yemen in 2016.
The uncertain political and security environment in Yemen limited the humanitarian support UNHCR could provide to populations of concern in the country.

Population trends

  • The number of refugees in Yemen increased by almost 3,000 in 2016, taking the total number to about 270,000 refugees. Over the same period there were more than 9,000 asylum-seekers, a decrease of 800 since 2015.
  • More than 117,000 new arrivals landed along the Yemen coasts, of which 17 per cent declared their intention to seek asylum.
  • The Task Force on Population Movement, co-led by UNHCR and IOM, reported more than 2 million IDPs and 1,027,674 returnees affected by the conflict and in need of humanitarian assistance.

Achievements and impact

  • UNHCR provided shelter support, including emergency shelter kits, plastic sheets and tents, to 22,423 vulnerable households.
  • In addition, 48 collective centres in 10 governorates, which hosted more than 3,500 IDPs, were rehabilitate, and rental subsidies were provided to 5,970 IDP families with specific needs.
  • UNHCR ensured the timely issuance of identity documentation to over 4,500 Somali refugees and helped 624 newborn refugees obtain birth certificates.
  • More than 370 SGBV cases and more than 1,200 children, including unaccompanied or separated children, children at risk or children with disabilities, were assisted
  • Refugees continued to have access to public health and education services

Unmet needs

As a result of underfunding and deteriorating economic/security situation, UNHCR was not able to:
  • Deliver basic services to the majority of collective centres and spontaneous settlements, which hosted 21 per cent of IDPs;
  • Provide assistance packages to support sustainable returns for IDPs;
  • Provide cash  for non-food item for 20 per cent of the population in need, and;
  • Provide cash for shelter for 30 per cent of the population in need;
  • Carry out infrastructure rehabilitation in Kharaz refugee camp;
  • Meet the chronic needs and out of camp approaches in health and education, particularly in refugee host communities. 

The humanitarian situation in Yemen remains challenging. Since March 2015, armed conflict, shelling and airstrikes throughout the country have caused an unprecedented level of displacement, including among the refugee population. The gravity of the conflict prompted the activation of a system-wide Level 3 emergency response on 1 July 2015. Since the start of the conflict, over 122,000 individuals had fled Yemen to neighbouring countries by 1 September 2015.

Yemen is the only country in the subregion to have signed the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol, and UNHCR has been operational in Yemen since 1987. Despite the severe challenges imposed by the conflict, the Government of Yemen continues to show hospitality towards refugees and to honour the 2013 Sana’a Declaration. In addition, Yemen also remains a destination and transit country for those travelling as part of mixed movements. Since January 2015, some 59,000 people have arrived by sea seeking international protection. The conflict has compelled UNHCR to shift the focus of its strategy from solutions to immediate emergency assistance, while pursuing protection activities such as reception, refugee status determination (RSD), and legal counselling. Throughout the country, the lack of security has severely hampered humanitarian efforts. Access to basic services such as water, health, food, livelihoods opportunities, shelter and relief items, and protection interventions has been limited, and 80 per cent of the overall population needs humanitarian aid. Although operating in a difficult security environment, UNHCR has continued to provide life-saving assistance and critical protection support for more than 2.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), a major increase from the 2014 recorded population of 290,000 IDPs, and 264,600 refugees in Yemen.    
The violence and insecurity prompted a temporary evacuation of international staff, some of whom have gradually returned to cover key positions, with appropriate security measures. The UNHCR Representative in Yemen is also the Yemen Humanitarian Coordinator. As the situation remains uncertain and insecure, UNHCR will continue to focus on delivering emergency assistance to IDPs and refugees, and on providing protection services for the entire population of concern, while collaborating with other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and governmental entities.  
Latest contributions
  • 31-JUL-2021

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