Feature on a campaign to raise awareness of asylum seekers fleeing into Yemen.
First published in Al Jazeera on 11 March 2017:
Yemen is currently home to more than 270,000 refugees and asylum seekers, predominantly from Africa, according to UNHCR. In 2016, at least 117,000 more arrived, the agency said.
The influx has alarmed humanitarian workers in Yemen, where the war-ravaged infrastructure is already under heavy strain. The ongoing war has killed thousands of people, displaced millions and brought the country to the brink of famine.
Amid the sharp decline in safety in Yemen, the massive refugee influx – which comes amid deteriorating conditions in the refugees’ countries of origin – is alarming, Mantoo said.
“They don’t have enough information. They are misled by smugglers and traffickers about what lies ahead,” she said. “They are making incredibly dangerous journeys across the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, and then arriving in the middle of a warzone.”