Yemen (Basateen) – There is nothing or little left of the well-irrigated fruit farms that used to flourish in the early 90’s in Basateeen. Those green plots that gave Basateen its name – garden in Arabic – are now a distant memory.
A shanty town on the outskirts of Yemen’s port city of Aden, Basateen is currently hosting some 20,000 refugees from the Horn of Africa, mostly Somali nationals. It is the largest urban refugee community in Yemen, making up around 10 percent of the total refugee population in the country.
UNHCR and its partners are supporting Yemen to provide the refugees in Basateen with most community services, including health care, schooling for children, psychosocial support for victims of sexual and gender-based violence, income-generation opportunities and micro-credit loans, registration and documentation. However, the needs remain immense as Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab Peninsula, with a staggering 30 percent unemployment rate and 40 percent of the population living below the lower poverty line.
In spite of the harsh living conditions, Basateen is a lively place and a good example of peaceful coexistence between refugees and the host community.