More support for Horn of Africa migrants returning home

Irregular migrants in the Horn of Africa will be eligible to access much-needed support to travel and reintegrate into their home countries if they decide to return. In May 2019, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the European Union (EU) committed an additional EUR 18 million to improve migration management in the Horn of Africa.

The funding brings the total commitment from the EU to the EU-IOM joint initiative for the protection and reintegration of migrants from the Horn of Africa to EUR 43 million. The programme aims to save lives and improve assistance for migrants along migration routes originating from the region. It will focus on Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia and Sudan, as they account for the largest movement of migrants in Africa. 

So far, thousands of migration and border officers have been trained to address migrant smuggling and human trafficking more effectively.  Over 12,000 trafficked victims and vulnerable migrants have also been assisted with protection services.

The programme supports migrants to return to their countries of origin in a safe and dignified way. It provides reintegration support to enable returning migrants to restart their lives in their countries and communities of origin.

Much of the work in the Horn of Africa takes place in Ethiopia, which has a population of over 100 million. The bulk of the 3,804 migrants that the initiative assisted to return to their countries of origin since April 2018 were Ethiopians who were migrating through Djibouti to Yemen and the Gulf countries. The returnees can also apply for entrepreneurship training when they return to Ethiopia. Approximately 700 returnees have now received the training and many go on to establish cafeterias, retail shops, carpentry workshops, and cattle and dairy enterprises.

In 2018, reintegration assistance was also provided for more than 2,300 Ethiopian returnees, while 1,672 returnees received psychosocial support. More than 2,000 returning migrants were provided with post-arrival medical assistance and others received educational support.

TMP – 14/06/2019

Photo credit: mbrand85 / Shutterstock

Photo caption: A tree in the desert in Djibouti. Thousands of Ethiopian migrants walk through Djibouti on their journey to Yemen.