Refugees' influx raises economic strain on Yemen, 4,213 arrived in month: UNHCR

08:27, July 19, 2010      

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Sunday that escalating numbers of nonstop influx of Somali refugees posed an increasing heavy burden on Yemen's limited resources as the country received up to 4,213 Somali refugees in April this year.

About 90 boats from the Horn of Africa arrived in Yemeni coasts during April 2010, carrying 4,213 refugees, including 80 children, according to a press release from the Yemen-based Office of UNHCR.

As many as 1,249 of the arrivals were Somali refugees, while the rest 2,964 refugees were from other different African nations, it added.

In its statement, the UNHCR revealed that the 80 Somali children fled Somalia to Yemen to escape forced recruitment launched by rival armed groups there. Deteriorating security situation forced thousands of Somalis to risk their lives on a smuggled journey across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen.

Yemen recognizes all Somalis as refugees and granted the right to stay, but many of those who cross the Gulf of Aden move on to Yemen's neighbors Saudi Arabia and Oman for hunting jobs, said the UNHCR.

The escalating numbers of refugees exerts increasing strain on Yemen's limited resources and poses more challenges to the government's efforts to balance its obligations as the country also seeks to protect its territories from illegal immigration, it added.

Yemen hosts 78,000 Somali refugees by the end of 2009 out of 171,000 total registered refugees, according to statistics of the UN refugee agency. Yemeni Interior Ministry officials say many more Somalis are still unregistered.

Source: Xinhua


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