IOM Appeals for urgent financial support from the International Community to Assist Migrants in the Horn of Africa and Yemen

Published Date: 
Thu, 09/23/2021

Nairobi – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is appealing for urgent financial support from the international community to provide life-saving assistance to thousands of migrants from the Horn of Africa and Yemen.

Through its Migrant Response Plan for the Horn of Africa and Yemen 2021 | Crisis Response Plan , IOM has appealed for USD 57.8 million to provide life-saving humanitarian and protection interventions to more than 327,000 people among them migrants, internally displaced persons and host communities along what is known as the Eastern migration route.

With these funds, IOM will be able to improve access to basic services for migrants and host communities in a safe and dignified manner, ensure continuity of services along the route while ensuring medium- to long-term actions aimed at addressing the drivers of migration. 

The continued impact of COVID-19 and stricter controls along the border of Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the protracted conflict and widespread economic challenges have led to an estimated 32,000 migrants being stranded in Yemen, with the majority of migrants living in dire conditions with extremely limited or no access to essential services, with few options available to continue their journeys or to return home. Many of the migrants are held by smugglers for extended periods with significant protection risks and threats to their lives, safety, and dignity.

The bi-directional movement of irregular migrants along the eastern route  continues to be dangerous, and according to the IOM Missing Migrants Project, 97 migrants have died in Bab al-Mandeb Strait since the beginning of 2021 and among them were sixteen children when the boat capsized off the coast of Djibouti. More than 41,000 migrants were returned involuntarily from Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia between June 26 and July 16, 2021, during a third wave of COVID-19. Of those returned, 37 per cent were from parts of Tigray region. These returns are expected to continue.

Still, the Migrant Response Plan remains critically underfunded while needs continue to increase.  Without adequate funding, IOM will not be able to continue providing lifesaving and protection assistance, including safe, voluntary humanitarian return (VHR) and dignified return solutions for the stranded migrants in Yemen, Djibouti and Somalia, and those facing forced returns from Saudi Arabia.

So far, only USD  22,5 million of the USD 57,8 million appeal has been raised by IOM to assist vulnerable migrants and host communities in Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia and Yemen.  IOM is appealing to humanitarian donors and development partners to contribute towards the balance of USD35.3million to support the migrants in situations of vulnerability and host communities by the end of 2021.

Read the full IOM appeal online here

IOM’s Global Crisis Response Platform provides an overview of IOM’s plans and funding requirements to respond to the evolving needs and aspirations of those impacted by, or at risk of, crisis and displacement in 2021 and beyond. The Platform is regularly updated as crises evolve, and new situations emerge.  

Migrant Response Plan for the Horn of Africa and Yemen 2021 | Global Crisis Response Platform (iom.int)

For more information, please contact Kenneth Odiwuor, Email: Email: kodiwuor@iom.int Tel: +254722560363

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IOM has appealed for USD 57.8 million to provide life-saving humanitarian and protection interventions to more than 327,000 people among them migrants, internally displaced persons and host communities along what is known as the Eastern migration route. Photo: IOM/2021
IOM has appealed for USD 57.8 million to provide life-saving humanitarian and protection interventions to more than 327,000 people among them migrants, internally displaced persons and host communities along what is known as the Eastern migration route. Photo: IOM/2021