Huda Omar, "My children cry out for food day and night"

Huda Omar, 30, fled war-torn Somalia by boat in 2006 to Oman, where she spent more than two and a half years before paying traffickers to smuggle her to Yemen.

[See also: YEMEN-SOMALIA: Bracing for a fresh influx of Somali refugees]

But in Yemen she is eligible for protection only, and not support, as she has not been allowed to register as a refugee with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Living in the street with her two young daughters, just metres away from UNHCR’s office in Sanaa, Huda told IRIN her story.

“No one helps us… I and my two children have no income. I am forced to beg for money from passers-by to feed my children and myself.

“I have been living in this place for three months without any way to clean, or get drinking water. Nobody cares about my suffering.

“In Oman, I fell out of a moving car and then spent five months in one of Oman’s public hospitals, where I was cared for and given medicine for free. When I heard about the humanitarian treatment given to Somali refugees by international organizations in Yemen, I decided to come to Yemen. But I have had no mercy, no sympathy and no humanitarianism here.

“Because of my disability, I can hardly move without using my crutches. I still need medicine to ease my pain.

“My children cry out for food day and night and I barely sleep at night because of my illness and hunger. My condition is getting worse with time because I don’t have good food and medicine.

“The war forced us to desert our home, leave our crops before harvest time, and lose our cattle, which we relied on for our livelihood. I cannot imagine what our farmland looks like these days.

“But it would have been better for me to stay in Somalia - even amid the conflict in which my husband was killed. I regret my decision to flee to Yemen.

“My dream in life is to have a shelter for me and my children, and enough food and clean water. But I don’t know if it is possible for me to achieve this dream before I die.”