IOM Receives USD 6 Million from the Government of the United States of America to Assist Migrants in Yemen and Horn of Africa

Published Date: 
Thu, 09/16/2021

Nairobi – The United States Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) has provided USD 6 Million to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) through its Regional Migrants Response Plan for the Horn of Africa and Yemen 2021-2024 to assist migrants in Yemen and the Horn of Africa.

The funding will help IOM to provide life-saving assistance and quality, timely, and inclusive protection assistance and services to migrants and host communities, including medical assistance, psychosocial support, safe, voluntary humanitarian return (VHR) for the stranded migrants in Yemen, dignified return solutions for the stranded migrants in Djibouti and Somalia as well as post arrival assistance to the migrants involuntarily returned to Ethiopia from Saudi Arabia and family reunification and tracing for unaccompanied migrant children.

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. Many of them are 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. They are in constant risk of abuse and exploitation. 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.

The Regional Migrant Response Plan (MRP) for the Horn of Africa and Yemen 2021 – 2024 is an inter-agency migrant-focused humanitarian and development response strategy for vulnerable migrants from the Horn of Africa, in particular Somalia, and Ethiopia, moving through Djibouti and to and from Yemen. The MRP brings together 39 partners from member states, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), United Nations (UN)agencies, civil society organizations (CSO), international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and national non-governmental organizations (NGOs). It provides an essential strategic framework to ensure a whole-of-society, whole of-route, and whole-of-government approach to addressing migrants’ protection needs, risks and vulnerabilities. So far, and thanks to the additional funding from PRM, USD  28.5 million of the USD 99million of the Regional Migrant Response Plan for the Horn of Africa and Yemen 2021 Appeal has been raised by IOM and other partners. 

Together with MRP partners, IOM is appealing to humanitarian donors and development partners to contribute towards the balance of USD70.5million to support the migrants in situations of vulnerability and host communities across the four MRP countries by the end of 2021.

For more information, please contact: Memory Mwale, Regional Migrant Response Plan Coordinator: mmwale@iom.int