Yearning for a home that no longer exists: The dilemma facing people forced to flee in Yemen

Published 02. Nov 2023
A reduction in violence has created a window of opportunity for diplomacy. Alongside it, opportunities to secure durable solutions for Yemen's displaced people must be found.

Yemen is at a crossroads. Although the formal truce the United Nations (UN) brokered lapsed in October 2022, “truce-like conditions” have continued. Fighting has diminished, there have been fewer civilian casualties and the conflict has been forcing fewer people to flee. There is increasing international support for political negotiations towards peace.

However, we still have a long way to go to find genuine and lasting alternatives to displacement for the millions of people who have been forced to flee within Yemen. While hopes for a new era of calm have grown, the benefits of peace are not always balanced. The communities most severely affected by conflict are often left behind, and in Yemen the conditions facing them remain grim.

The country has no systematic framework for tracking people’s attempts to return to their areas of origin. Nor is there a Yemen-wide policy framework for supporting internally displaced people that has been incorporated into diplomatic channels or standardised across humanitarian and development programming. For these reasons, it is the lived experiences and realities of displaced people that must form the foundation of conversations about durable solutions.

This report aims to highlight these lived experiences. At a time when conversations about how best to achieve durable solutions have gained significant momentum, this research also seeks to inform those discussions by offering evidence and concrete recommendations to those who influence the lives of displaced people in Yemen.