UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

unct-ye-unhcr-family-children-boy-girl-women-idp-tent-image-Hamoud-s(Photo: UNHCR/M.Hamoud)


UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and wellbeing of refugees.

UNHCR has worked in Yemen since 1987. Yemen is the only country in the Arabian Peninsula to have signed the 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol.

UNHCR has been working to protect and assist refugees and asylum seekers in Yemen as well as to respond to the current humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

There are currently more than 280,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Yemen– the large majority originating from Somalia; and 2 million internally displaced Yemenis and 1 million internally displaced returnees.

Following the escalation of the conflict in Yemen in March 2015, UNHCR has been engaged in the emergency response to the crisis. Under the humanitarian coordination system in Yemen, UNHCR leads in the provision of protection, shelter and non-food items for those displaced and most vulnerable. UNHCR also continues to protect and support refugees and asylum seekers who remain in Yemen despite the conflict and are particularly at risk.

UNHCR has been providing emergency shelter and non-food items to those displaced, and has been refurbishing public buildings and settlements that are now host to displaced households. UNHCR responds to and addresses protection needs, and provides legal and financial assistance as well as psycho-social support services to those affected by conflict. UNHCR also supports health facilities that serve refugees, asylum-seekers and local communities. UNHCR assistance has reached people in need in all governorates affected by the conflict.

UNHCR has an operational presence across Yemen, with a representational and protection office in Sana’a, a sub office in Aden, field offices in Sa’ada, Al Hudaydah, Ibb and Kharaz refugee camp in Lahj governorate; and a back-up office in Amman, Jordan.