The number of African migrants stranded in Yemen, many of whom endure “horrifying and brutal” violence while trapped there, is reaching critical levels, according to international NGOs and civil society organisations based in the Arab state.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) put out a warning this week about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, leading a call for urgent funding to support the “safe and voluntary return of migrants to their countries of origin”.

The intervention follows a number of fatal boat journeys last month from Djibouti, a major transit point for people leaving the Horn of Africa, many of whom are attempting to get to Saudi Arabia – the Arab world’s largest economy and the world’s third most popular destination for migrants.