The plight of Yemeni Refugees: They Thrown Overboard While Seeking a Better Life

Mahgdi Kalla and his family were apprehended as they attempted to flee Yemen in search of a better life. They were, ironically, thrown into the sea by the unit that had caught them.

Yemeni refugees
Illustration. Yemeni refugees are thrown into the sea while attempting to flee the country. (AFP Document)

ACTNews, YEMEN – Yemen has become one of the countries with the world's worst humanitarian crisis due to conflict. Millions of citizens found themselves internally displaced in their own country. Because they do not have a decent life, many Yemeni refugees attempt to flee to other countries in the hopes of starting a new and better life.

These efforts have not always yielded positive results. As in the case of one of the refugees, Mahgdi Kalla's story.

According to the report, three members of the family, Mahgdi Kalla and Fatima Mahmud, a couple, and their cousin, Mucahed Abduljavad, left Yemen in December 2021 and traveled to Turkey's Aegean province of Izmir using an illegal route.

These Yemeni refugees boarded a rubber boat carrying a group of Yemeni asylum-seekers and crossed to the Greek island of Chios.

However, their happiness was short-lived. The Greek coast guard caught them, put them on a boat, and threw three migrants into Turkish territorial waters. Recounting his ordeal, Kalla said the Greek coast guard units took away their cell phones and money.

"They put us on a small boat. There were also Greek soldiers with us. After 20 minutes of sailing, they removed our handcuffs. We had child-sized life jackets on us that we could not fit in. They threw us into the water. We had told the Greek soldiers we could not swim. They threw us into the sea and left," Kalla said.

Luckily for Kalla, the small buoy he was carrying kept him afloat. He finally survived and returned to Yemen with his family.

Yemen's situation is deteriorating due to the increasing intensity of the conflict in recent months. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) announced yesterday that it would soon have to reduce the volume of food aid provided to 11 million Yemenis due to a lack of funding.

"Funding shortages are threatening to cut lifesaving support for millions of people in Yemen," OCHA said on Twitter, noting that 11 million people would "soon have to rely on reduced food rations and 4.6 million could lose access to clean water."[]