Escape from Somalia to Yemen

Every year thousands of people risk their lives in crossing the golf of Aden between Somalia and Yemen. The war that has raged in Somalia since 1992 and the famine in Ethiopia have created an exodus of people looking for a secure country. There are 300,000 Somalian refugees in Yemen. In 2009, according to the UNHCR (the United Nations High Commissariat of Refugees) more than 50,000 refugees made the perilous crossing, and at least 500 deaths have been recorded. They arrive with horrific stories of starvation, torture, murder and rape committed by the smugglers. Exhausted by the crossing, they receive their first aid from NGO's that patrol the Yemeni coast, who then drive them to the Kharaz refugee camp situated on the westernmost point of the country, lost in the middle of the dessert.
In Yemen there is no glorious future for them, just the promise of security, in fact Yemen is the poorest country of the Arabian Peninsular, with nearly half the population out of work. Refugees who survive in the camp are fully dependant on humanitarian aid, the ones who leave end up sqaushed into cardboard and plastic slums on the fringes of the big yemeni cities like Aden or Sanaa. They survive by doing odd jobs like washing cars, cleaning rubbish or fishing. So, many risk everything and cross the borders into Saudia Arabia or the Emirates, knowing that if they are caught they will be instantly sent back to Somalia. Yemen is the only Arabic country to have signed the United Nations international convention for refugees.