Africa Humanitarian Action (AHA), in partnership with the Government of Djibouti and the UN Refugee Agency, is assisting migrants and refugees fleeing the current conflict in Yemen.
The Djibouti coastguard escorts boats carrying refugees from Yemen into the port of Obock. Photo: © UNHCR/J. Cyriaque Grahouan
With the escalation in Yemen’s conflict, there is a rise in people fleeing by boat across the Gulf of Aden to countries in the Horn of Africa. The UN refugee agency is preparing to receive as many as 130,000 refugees who could flee by boat to the Horn of Africa mostly to Djibouti and Somalia to escape the conflict in Yemen.
As of 13 April 2015 344 Yemeni refugees arrived at Obock in Djibouti. Newly arriving refugees are being registered at the Al-Rahma temporary transit centre near Obock. The authorities have identified a site for a refugee camp four kilometres away at Markazi.
Djibouti is already home to more than 20,000 refugees, most of who live in two refugee camps. AHA as an international humanitarian organization and a partner to the government of Djibouti through the MoFA and UNHCR, has been providing healthcare, nutrition, family planning and HIV/AIDS services to refugees in two camps, namely Holl Holl with more than 2,000 refugees, Ali Addeh with more than 20,000 refugees, around 800 urban refugees and more than 3,400 asylum seekers since February 2015. AHA also manages three health centers in each camp that support in and out patients, and a third consultation/referral service center in Djibouti Ville.
Following an interagency assessment mission in the Obock region, where the refugee influx is heavy, AHA has designed three intervention points to provide timely healthcare services. Working with the Ministry of Health, health screening and first aid services are provided at the point of arrival. In addition, refugees have access to food, water, health and medical care and other assistance at point of registration and in the newly established Obock transit center.
The refuges are expected to be moved to the camp as soon as WASH constructions are finalized. At the Markazi camp site 70 tents have been installed and latrines are being constructed.
In Djibouti Ville, AHA, in partnership with the UNHCR, is supporting Yemeni refugees with chronic illness through provision of medicine and access to healthcare. An interagency contingency plan is under development for an anticipated arrival of 30,000 refugees in the next six months. The Minister of Health and Minister of Interior have advised all partners to begin operations as soon as possible.