Thousands flee to Yemen despite ongoing conflict

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People waiting to board a boat to take them across the Gulf of Aden. File Photo: UNHCR/Alixandra Fazzina

Although Yemen is facing a deadly conflict and humanitarian crisis, 70,000 people have sought refuge in the country so far this year, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday.

More than half had arrived since fighting erupted in March.

Dianne Penn reports.

The 70,000 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants mostly came from Ethiopia and Somalia, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

They had arrived by boat—a journey UNHCR described as "particularly perilous."

Just three weeks ago, a boat carrying 68 migrants and refugees capsized in the Arabian Sea.

Only 33 survived.

So far this year, there have been 88 recorded deaths at sea between the Horn of Africa and Yemen.

Adrian Edwards is the UNHCR spokesperson.

"Most of the movements to Yemen have now shifted to the Gulf of Aden coast where people believe the situation to be calmer. There were over 10,000 new arrivals in September, just a 50 per cent increase on August, and over 10,000 so far this month."

UNHCR and its partners operate reception centres which provide shelter, food and medical care for the arrivals.

The agency is also providing emergency relief to thousands of Yemenis who have been displaced within their country due to the conflict.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'08"

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