International Organization for Migration (IOM)

unct-ye-iom-woman-carrying-mattresses-image-mohammed-muse-2017(Photo: UN Migration Agency/ Mohammed Muse 2017)


IOM supports the most vulnerable groups in Yemen through a multi-sector response, focusing on health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), shelter and non-food items (S-NFI), camp coordination and camp management (CCCM), Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) and protection support. IOM Yemen’s work spans from emergency humanitarian response to community stabilization. Additionally, IOM works closely with development partners, such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDs Tuberculosis, and Malaria, in building capacity and maintaining critical institutions during the conflict.



In 2007, IOM established its mission in Yemen by opening an office in Sana’a. Today, with more than 700 national team members, over 700 hourly workers and over 40 international team members, the IOM Yemen team continues to rapidly expand, increasing its operational capacity. The mission currently has sub-offices in Al Hudaydah, Aden and Marib governorates. IOM is expanding its geographic footprint within all governorates of Yemen to better support internally displaced persons (IDPs), conflicted-affected communities and vulnerable migrants.

IOM Yemen coordinates and works with United Nations (UN) agencies, national and international non-governmental organizations and other regional, national and local partners to prioritize and coordinate activities for the benefit of Yemeni nationals and migrants. IOM is the co-lead of the Shelter and Non-Food Items (S-NFI) and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster, as well as co-chair of the Refugee and Migrant Multi-Sector (RMMS) with UNHCR. IOM is also an active partner in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health, coordination and safety (through its DTM) and community stabilization sectors. IOM, to as great an extent as possible, implements its activities directly through an extensive field-based infrastructure. However, in such a difficult working context with considerable logistical challenges and limited humanitarian access, IOM collaborates with national and international implementing partners to increase its access and footprint in country.


Current Operations

WASH: IOM’s WASH activities continue to target the most vulnerable Yemenis, including displaced people and host communities, people at risk of famine and malnutrition, and people living in cholera-affected areas. IOM combines the restoration and maintenance of existing WASH systems with direct provision of WASH services. This is achieved through the maintenance and improvement of water supply and sanitation systems; the distribution of basic hygiene kits and mosquito nets, accompanied by hygiene promotion; water trucking; and capacity building of local partners and institutions to ensure a sustainable response.

S-NFI/CCCM: IOM’s S-NFI and CCCM response addresses critical gaps for those in protracted situations, or experiencing additional shocks, and newly displaced populations. As co-lead of the S-NFI/CCCM Cluster, IOM actively contributes to the effective and coordinated implementation of targeted responses among partners across the country. IOM’s direct assistance, includes the provision of NFI kits tailored to the specific needs (i.e. winterization, returns and initial displacement) and the provision of shelter support to people living in collective centres, makeshift shelters and open-air spaces. Where possible, IOM uses cash transfers to provide beneficiaries with purchase flexibility while in turn supporting local economies.

DTM: Supporting the wider humanitarian community’s response, IOM’s DTM provides regular, timely and accurate information on displacement patterns, demographics and vulnerabilities. The gathered data assists IOM and its partners to tailor their activities to the needs of the displaced. As of November 2018, the DTM team estimates that there are 3.6 million people (607,865 households) displaced across all 22 governorates, most whom were displaced due to conflict. For the same period, DTM identified an estimated 1.28 million IDP returnees (213,427 households) across 22 governorates.

Community Stabilization: IOM is increasing its community stabilization, social cohesion and resilience programming to create conditions for peaceful coexistence and lay the foundations for sustainable development. While violent conflict persists in Yemen, there are parts of the country that are stabilizing and where industry continues despite insecurity in surrounding areas. IOM is working with communities, national and local governance structures and other key stakeholders to maintain gains in these areas and build resiliency to destabilizing factors. As part of the community stabilization portfolio, IOM supports social cohesion building through participatory identification of community priorities, rehabilitation of communal infrastructure, restoration of basic services and immediate access to income. Community stabilization interventions are implemented in five governorates across Yemen, including Aden, Lahj, Abyan, Shabwah and Hadramaut, many of which continue to draw large numbers of internally displaced and returnee populations due to their relative stability.

Health: IOM provides migrants with primary health care through supporting local health facilities, operating mobile health clinics, emergency medical referrals and awareness raising campaigns to lessen the spread of communicable disease, such as HIV and TB. Activities target migrants through direct service provision and referrals, response to dangerous hazards created by the conflict or environmental and capacity building of medical systems to address increased medical needs during times of crisis. In addition, IOM Yemen provides health care services to vulnerable persons across Yemen through a static and mobile responses. In collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), IOM provides a Minimum Service Package, inclusive of support to staff, supplies, specialty services and capacity building in line with the Yemen Health Cluster strategy.

Migrant Assistance: Despite the conflict, Yemen remains a transit and destination country for migrants from the Horn of Africa. To address the immediate needs of migrants, IOM provides basic services - food, water, shelter and health - upon arrival to Yemen, as well as along migrant routes and in communities with large migrant populations. IOM works closely with partners under the United Kingdom’s (UK) Department for International Development (DFID) led Migrant Response Consortium to support migrants countrywide. While there are tremendous needs throughout Yemen, migrants remain particularly vulnerable, as accessing services can be a challenge. IOM provides voluntary humanitarian return (VHR) assistance to migrants, who are stranded in Yemen and freely express a desire to return home. VHR is primarily accessed by Ethiopian migrants, but is also available to other nationalities for which IOM provides individual negotiation.