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The Gulf of Aden has long been a focal point for refugees arriving by boat particularly from Somalia in East Africa.  An estimated 30,000 asylum-seekers, mainly of Somalia and Ethiopian origin, reach Yemen almost each year.  Most of these refugees are fleeing war-torn homelands and will often arrive exhausted and dehydrated in severe need of food, water and emergency medical assistance. Yemen LNG therefore contracted an NGO (the Society for Humanitarian Solidarity) to run a refugee temporary transit facility which was constructed by the Company in Balhaf where temporary accommodation, food, water and basic medical assistance and emergency services could be provided during the construction stage of the project (to the end of 2010). 

Whenever the Company is faced with such a humanitarian situation, this NGO, Society for Humanitarian Solidarity, is committed to ensuring the humane, safe and secure handling of those in dire need not only in Balhaf but also in other sites where Yemen LNG is operational.  Refugees are then referred by this NGO to the official registration centre in Mayfa’ah where their situation will be supervised and managed by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in conjunction with Yemeni government authorities. 
According to the 2010 report of UNHCR, there are an estimated 180,000 Somali refugees in Yemen, in addition to significantly less numbers from other countries. Refugees are brought in by smugglers and enter Yemen via the coast between Mulkalla and Aden. On average, it is estimated that some 1,000 Somalis arrive in Yemen each month, comprising some 90% of the overall number of refugees in the country.

In 2011 a new contract has been negotiated with SHS to continue to liaise with UNHCR in managing refugees. The RTTF is no longer able to be used on security grounds, but an alternative site is now used, prior to transfer to UNHCR. 
For more information on refugee issues, you may visit the UNHCR official website by clicking here. 

* Source: UNHCR Global Reports - Yemen

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