Today the United States announced a $2 million contribution to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to provide emergency assistance to vulnerable Ethiopian migrant returnees from Saudi Arabia.
The Ethiopian Government and IOM have been responding quickly to the needs of an overwhelming number of Ethiopian migrants deported from Saudi Arabia. To date, more than 153,000 migrants have been returned to Ethiopia, including more than 8,000 children, some of whom are likely trafficking victims. Many of the returnees have endured exploitation by forced labor while in Saudi Arabia and are destitute, in poor health, and suffered abuse during the detention and deportation process.
The additional funding for IOM will assist vulnerable returnees, and promote humane treatment.
The IOM-led program covers the following activities:
• Reception and registration at the airport;
• Transport from the airport to transit centers and to migrant communities of origin, including a small cash allowance to pay for initial needs upon arrival;
• Provision of medical support at the airport and transit centers;
• Provision of means, water, clothing, and other non-food items (NFIs); and
• Temporary accommodation for unaccompanied children, data collection of family tracing, and transport for family reunifications.
IOM has a strong track-record of support to vulnerable migrants, and collaboration with the Government of Ethiopia, and other partners including the UN Refugee Agency, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and non-governmental organizations.
For further information on the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration’s programming, please contact PRMpress@state.gov or follow us on Twitter, @StatePRM.