ROME, 10 March 2021 – The gobal migration agency is demanding urgent access to mostly Ethiopian migrants injured in a deadly fire at a holding facility in Yemen.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Wednesday that many of migrants are in critical condition.
Yemeni officials said eight migrants were killed in the fire, but the death toll has been challenged by other accounts provided by rights groups.
Mwatana, a Yemeni human rights group with deep knowledge of the fate of migrants in the country, has suggested in a recent report that the death toll is far higher than the figure of eight dead given by the authorities.
It remains unclear how many of the hundreds of people in the overcrowded facility in Sana’a were killed or injured in the fire.
The survivors are in urgent need of medical attention and humanitarian assistance, the IOM said Tuesday in a statement.
“We are facing challenges accessing the injured due to an increased security presence in the hospitals,” read the statement signed by Carmela Godeau, the IOM Middle East and North Africa Director.
More than 170 migrants have been treated for their injuries, with an unspecified number believed to be in critical condition but denied access to health services.
Located just off the coast of Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia, Yemen is a major transit stop for African migrants headed to the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.