The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) repatriated 143 Somalis stranded in Yemen this week, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.
Last year, KSRelief repatriated as many as 2,000 Somali refugees from Yemen. The Voluntary Repatriation Program was initiated by KSRelief in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), whose spokesman Joel Millman said 46 men, 41 women, 26 boys and 30 girls set off by boat from Aden on Sept. 30 and arrived at the Somali port of Berbera.
Their relocation was possible thanks to funding from KSRelief, which is working in partnership with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to facilitate the movement of people returning from Yemen, Millman added.
He said since KSRelief started funding the project in November 2018, 1,505 Somali returnees have been assisted.
He added that the project aims to facilitate safe and dignified movements from Yemen, and to contribute to reintegrating returnees in a sustainable way.
UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch said Somalis comprise 90 percent of refugees in Yemen, or some 250,000 people.
Meanwhile, KSRelief transported 10 injured Yemenis to Saudi Arabia to receive medical care at the center’s expense. Yemeni officials commended KSRelief’s efforts and concern for the wounded.