Yemen - Flow Monitoring Registry | Non-Yemeni Migrant Arrivals and Yemeni Migrant Returnees in February 2024




IOM DTM Yemen,
Period Covered
Feb 01 2024
Feb 29 2024
  • Flow Monitoring
  • Mobility Tracking
  • Baseline Assessment

IOM Yemen DTM’s Flow Monitoring Registry (FMR) monitors migrant arrivals on the southern coastal border and Yemeni return locations on Yemen's northern border with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).  Enumerators placed at Flow Monitoring Points (FMPs) record migrant arrivals and returning Yemeni nationals to identify different patterns of migration, and to provide quantitative estimates to help define the population of irregular migrants entering the country.

FMR is not representative of all flows in Yemen and should be understood as only indicative of migration trends of the unknown total number of migrants arriving in Yemen at FMPs during the time frame indicated. Access constraints limit the ability to collect data at some migrant arrival points.

In an effort to reduce the flow of migrants entering Yemen, which primarily crosses through the country heading towards the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, a joint military campaign was initiated in August 2023. This campaign focused on the coast of Lahj governorate, a significant entry point for a large number of migrants (max. 15,714 migrants in March 2023). The military detained smugglers and pursued their boats, leading to a steady decrease in the flow of migrants through this coast until it ceased entirely during the last five months, with a single exception in the middle of December 2023 when a boat carrying 110 migrants managed to land.

In February 2024, IOM Yemen DTM recorded 1,744 migrants entering Yemen, an increase of less than one per cent compared to last month (1,737). Shabwah typically serves as an entry point for migrants from Somalia and rarely sees migrants departing from Djibouti due to the considerable distance between Djibouti and Shabwah. Thus, Shabwah was the arrival destination for all migrants departed from Bari, Somalia (1,744). The overall number of migrants entering through Shabwah has increased by less than one per cent in February (1,744) compared to January 2024 (1,736).

According to DTM, conflict-induced movements constituted 56 per cent of all incoming movements in February 2024. These movements were exclusively observed in Shabwah, originating from Bari, Somalia (22% children, 21% women, and 58% men).

DTM observed a decrease in Yemeni returnees by 39 per cent in February (3,116) compared to January (5,148). This decrease might be attributed to the fact that more people travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia annually to perform the Omrah during the months of Sha'aban and Ramadan. This results in heavy crowding at Al-Wadea'ah land border and causes the Saudi authorities to concentrate more on those entering the country irregularly than on the process of deportation.

The deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Yemen has forced many migrants to make the difficult decision to return to their home countries in the Horn of Africa. Others are reported to have been deported by authorities. DTM recorded that in February 2024, a total of 2,326 migrants either opted to take the risky journey back or were deported by boat from Yemen. This group consisted of 92 per cent men, 4 per cent women, and 4 per cent children.

Additionally, the Djibouti DTM team documented that during the same period, 1,730 migrants (1,570 males and 160 females) embarked on a dangerous journey back home by boat from Yemen. These numbers highlight the significant challenges faced by migrants in Yemen and the desperate situations that have driven them to undertake perilous voyages across the sea.