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The IOM estimates 138,213 migrants entered Yemen in 2019, 92% of whom were Ethiopian, and 8% Somali. While some migrants seek to work in Yemen (in farming, construction, etc.), the vast majority try to make their way to Saudi Arabia to find employment there.

After arriving on the southern shores of Yemen these migrants begin a harrowing journey north, in large part on foot. Many never make it beyond arrival points on the southern coast. 

Furthermore, crossing into Saudi Arabia is no guarantee migrants will be able to stay. 9,000 Ethiopians were deported from Saudi Arabia each month over the past three years, in what the Associated Press described as an “unending loop of arrivals and deportations.”

Below, Navanti has mapped the most common routes migrants take across Yemen, and included photos taken by our researchers at key points along the way.

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