Ethiopian Returnees From Saudi Arabia Top 151,000

Two months after the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) started its crackdown on irregular migration, the operation to repatriate Ethiopian irregular migrants from the Kingdom continues, with over 151,000 already returned home.

Since the outset IOM has provided the returnees, over a third of whom are women and children, with emergency medical assistance, food, essential items for those in dire need, and reintegration allowances to help people to return to their areas of origin.

Some 339 Unaccompanied Minors (UAMs) have been reunited with their families by IOM, in collaboration with UNICEF and the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs. Some 60 UAMs are still awaiting family reunification at an IOM transit centre.

IOM’s health team, together with government and other partners are providing post-arrival health assistance, including psychological first aid, treatment and referrals both at the airport and in the transit center.

IOM has appealed for USD 20.15 million to pay for post-arrival assistance to the returnees. While many donors have come forward to assist, the operation still faces a funding shortfall of USD 12.35 million.

Current donors include CERF-OCHA, HRF-OCHA, ECHO-ERM, Plan International, Indian Business Forum, Irish Embassy and IOM’s US-based partner, the US Association for International Migration (USAIM). USAIM this week received USD 30,000 from the Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia.

In-kind assistance has also been received from International Rescue Committee (IRC), Save the Children, UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF, Plan International, MSF Spain, Ethiopian Red Cross Society, ICRC, VEDIKA Ethiopia Telugu – Association, Association of French in Ethiopia (ADFE), and Medhanialem Church Fellow Members Association.