Yemen is experiencing complex population movements with both internal displacement of over 175,000 due to conflict between Al Houti rebels and government forces in the northern Governorate of Sa’ada and a steady influx of refugees across the straight of Aden from insecurity in Somalia.
Yemen is positioned along a longstanding migration route that links an unstable and impoverished Horn of Africa with the oil rich countries of the Gulf. Yemen, however, is one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, where in 2008, growth declined as the price of oil dropped and the global economy slowed.
It is the only country on the Arabian Peninsula to be signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol and has adopted an open door policy to Somalis, granting them prima facie refugee status. In 2009, more than 50,000 new arrivals of refugees have landed on Yemen’s shores placing increasing strain on Yemen’s already limited recourses.