East Africa: Migration Body Appeals for U.S.$45 Million Aid for Horn of Africa Migrants

The International Organization for Migration and partners are appealing for $45 million to provide humanitarian and developmental aid over a three year period for 81,000 vulnerable migrants moving to and from the Horn of Africa and Yemen.

Yemen may be the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. But that has not deterred thousands of impoverished, conflict-ridden migrants and refugees mainly from Ethiopia and Somalia from crossing the Gulf of Aden into Yemen with the support of smugglers.

Most of the migrants, who arrive in Yemen move on to the Gulf States in search of work. IOM spokesman, Joel Millman says this irregular migration from the Horn of Africa has been steadily increasing during the past few years.

He says about 100,000 people made this perilous journey in 2017 and he expects that number to be matched this year.

“It is also important to note that about 200,000 migrants, that is about twice that number, are migrants and refugees who will return from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Yemen to the Horn of Africa during the same period. Those are divided, the 200,000, is about 150,000 returning to Ethiopia and 50,000 to Somalia," he said.

The three-year migration plan aims to help more than 80,000 of the most vulnerable migrants. They include women, unaccompanied children and the elderly, victims of violence and human trafficking, as well as people with disabilities.

The plan will provide basic humanitarian assistance, psycho-social counseling for abuse and violence survivors, and economic support to help the migrants reintegrate into their communities. It also envisions longer term developmental measures to support communities of origin in the hopes of keeping the migrants home.

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