Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) stated that about 500 to 700 thousand Yemeni refugees in Egypt are suffering from dire humanitarian and living conditions, while the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and other international organisation continue to ignore their urgent needs. AOHR UK added that the number of Yemenis registered as refugees or asylum seekers at UNHCR does not exceed 10,000.
Living in poor conditions
AOHR UK had received a number of complaints from Yemeni refugees in Egypt, stressing their inability to cover basic living expenses, medical treatment and school fees. They cannot obtain work permits due to not being officially registered as refugees residing in Egypt, leading them to accept minimum jobs without any legal protection.
The Corona pandemic exacerbated their poor living conditions, where many families had lost their male breadwinner, either due to death, chronic diseases or permanent disability as a result of war.
As for education, the Egyptian government is not accepting Yemeni students who fail to meet all requirements such as providing original copies of their school or university certificates, which is impossible to have access to during war. Some refugees cannot benefit from the government health care system in Egypt, nor are able to afford medical expenses in Egyptian hospitals, which should all be covered by UNHRC.
“The refugee crisis is rapidly exacerbating amid news of a more advanced wave of Covid-19, which is expected to be more deadly than the previous one”
The organization warned of the exacerbation of the refugee crisis, which will be hard to comprehend, given the news of a more advanced wave of the Corona epidemic, possibly more deadly than the previous one.
The Yemeni refugee crisis abroad is no less important than the ones in Yemen, such as the famines, epidemics, destruction the infrastructure, elimination of political life and turning the country into a place for street wars. AOHR UK stressed that these crises must be a top priority for the new government and the sponsors of the Riyadh agreement.
AOHR UK called on the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the High Commissioner for Refugees and the relevant UN bodies to take serious action to improve the living conditions of Yemeni refugees in the world, especially in Egypt, stressing that this crisis is not the responsibility of the parties involved in the conflict alone, but it is everyone’s responsibility and failure to solve it is disgrace to the international community.