A sharp increase has been recorded in the numbers of desperate Somali refugees risking their lives in often overcrowded and unseaworthy boats to cross the treacherous Gulf of Aden to Yemen fleeing violence and famine back home.
They arrive in one of the hungriest countries, with the third highest rates of malnutrition in the world.
Read: Yemen's silent emergency
Already 3,700 Somali refugees have reached the coast of Yemen so far in August alone making it the highest monthly arrival rate this year, according to the UN agency for refugees, UNHCR.
The arrivals also mark an earlier than normal start to the traditional peak season for smugglers' boats to arrive from the coastal town of Bossaso in northern Somalia.
The refugees are crossing what aid agencies have termed “the world’s most dangerous refugee route”, fleeing “the unstable security situation, severe drought, high food prices and lack of job opportunities,” they tell UNHCR.
“It is testament to the refugees' desperation that they have chosen to flee to Yemen, which is itself affected by serious unrest,” said UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards on Friday. “They cross the Gulf of Aden on what are often unseaworthy and overcrowded boats. Many do not survive the dangerous crossing. On Monday, two Somalis drowned when their boat capsized.”