Migration Reception Centre in Bossaso, Puntland Gives Hope to Families Fleeing Yemeni Crisis

Thirty-two-year-old Diini Abdi Yusuf travelled 1,541 kilometres because he needed an income. It was a decision, he says, he wishes he had never made.

Diini, who was born and raised in Mogadishu, Somalia, started the 21-day journey with his eyes fixed on Saudi Arabia. He run out of money when he got to the Lahj governorate (approximately 100 miles west of Yemen’s commercial capital, Aden), and decided to seek shelter at the Al Kharaz refugee camp.

In coordination with other UN agencies and a number of implementing partners, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) manages the camp, providing refugees with shelter, food, medical care and education.

According to UNHCR statistics (http://www.refugeesmap.com/reports/view/93), the majority of 16,000 refugees who make their home at the Al Kharaz refugee camp are from Somalia and Ethiopia.

IOM project officer, Jama Mohamed Jama, interacts with Diini and his family. © IOM / Omer Osman Said 2016

“There are schools, clinics and food rations, but no decent jobs. For over ten years I made a living washing cars and collecting rations from humanitarian organizations,” remembers Diini.

The father of five remarks, “My children were born in the camp and knew of little else outside of camp life. Because fighting in Yemen has been going on for such a long time, I decided that it was no longer safe to keep my family in the country.”

After 10 years in Yemen, this luggage is all that Diini and his family have to show. © IOM / Jama Jama Muse 2016

Hungry, scared and penniless, they got to Bossaso on Saturday 24 September 2016.

“Other families who travelled on the same boat we used advised us to seek help from the Bossaso Reception Centre. We have been treated with brotherly support since our arrival. Everything we need – food, medicine, water, and shelter – we have received. We are now waiting to be transported to Mogadishu, where we will reunite with my parents,” he said.

This photo has been intentionally blurred to hide the identity of the unaccompanied minors who continue to stream into the Bossaso Migration Reception Centre. © IOM / Jama Jama Muse 2016

Diini and his family are some of the almost 33,200 people who have fled from war-torn Yemen and are receiving protection and emergency assistance through a USD 10 million project funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief), and implemented by IOM and UNHCR, in close coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, regional and local authorities.

For further information please contact:

Nasser Alsubaie at KSRelief, Tel: +966.539186339, Email: nasser.alsubaie@ksrelief.org 
Heidrun Salzer at IOM Somalia, Tel: + 252. 617722 436, Email: hsalzer@iom.int
Julien Navier at UNHCR Nairobi, Tel: +254.732 400 044, Email: navier@unhcr.org