The United Nations (UN)’s refugee agency says nearly two million people have been internally displaced due to the conflict in Yemen.
In a report released on Monday, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) put the number of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Yemen at 1,980,510, adding that 84 percent of the IDPs had been out of their homes for over a year.
According to the report, 946,044 formerly displaced persons had returned to their homes, while 280,623 foreign refugees, mainly from Somalia and Ethiopia, were still in Yemen.
The UNHCR said it “remains deeply concerned by the significant impact the escalating hostilities are having on the protection of civilians and on the increase of newly displaced persons.”
“The war in Yemen, now in its third year, is exacting an unacceptably high toll on civilians, including on refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons,” it added.
In January 2015, the Saudi-friendly government of the then-president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi resigned under mounting pressure over its handling of the country’s affairs. The Houthi Ansarullah movement initially called on him to retract his resignation, but he refused, fleeing the capital. The Houthis then took over state matters to prevent a breakup of the state system and the rise of terrorist groups.
In March 2015, Saudi Arabia led a group of countries in a military invasion of Yemen in an attempt to eliminate the Houthi Ansarullah movement and reinstall Hadi.
The protracted Saudi offensive, which has been accompanied by a naval and aerial blockade on Yemen, has so far killed over 12,000 people and led to a humanitarian crisis and a cholera outbreak.
Cholera likely to continue in Yemen: WHO
In a relevant development on Monday, Dominique Legros, a cholera expert at the World Health Organization (WHO), warned that the epidemic in Yemen was likely to continue for a long time.
The WHO has recorded 686,783 suspected cholera cases and 2,090 deaths in Yemen since late April.
Last week, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Yemen’s cholera outbreak had reached “colossal proportions” and could affect 850,000 people by the end of the year.